Severe supply chain bottlenecks and persistent shortages of microchips drove shop prices higher over the last month, according to fresh figures published today.
The British Retail Consortium’s latest shop price index shows shop prices climbed 0.4 per cent in August, up from a 0.5 per cent fall in prices in July.
Logistics firms have struggled to resume normal levels of services as a result of a sudden surge in demand from companies as economies across the globe emerge from measures designed to curb the spread of Covid.
As a result, retailers are competing with each other to secure goods, which is putting upward pressure on prices.
A resurgence in Covid cases in Asia has prompted authorities to shut ports, further hitting supply, while ongoing changes to working practices at ships and ports has reduced productivity levels.
Annually, shop prices fell 0.8 per cent, a shallower fall than July’s 1.2 per cent drop.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:“Some of the non-food categories, such as electricals, saw sharp rises in inflation compared to last year, owing to global issues from delayed shipping and shortages of microchips.”
“Food retailers are fighting to keep their prices down as far as possible.”
“Low prices are already under threat, and now the HGV driver shortage has created an additional problem with a shortfall of 90,000 drivers.”
“Disruption has been limited so far, but in the run up to Christmas the situation could get worse, and customers may see reduced choice and increased prices for their favourite products and presents.”