It has emerged that food inflation has surged to 12.4 per cent to hit a new record amid predictions of dampened Christmas cheer and an “increasingly bleak” winter.
Overall shop prices are now 7.4 per cent higher than last November, up from 6.6 per cent in October, to set another record since the British Retail Consortium (BRC) records began in 2005.
But food inflation accelerated considerably further to 12.4 per cent from October’s 11.6 per cent – also the highest rate on record as rocketing energy, animal feed and transport costs forced up prices.
The BRC-Nielsen IQ Shop Price Index shows fresh food inflation rose even higher to 14.3 per cent, up from 13.3 per cent last month, driven particularly by the cost of meat, eggs and dairy.
Coffee prices “shot up” as high input costs filtered through to price tags, while Christmas gifting is also set to become more expensive than in previous years with sports and recreation equipment seeing particularly high increases, the BRC said.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Winter looks increasingly bleak as pressures on prices continue unabated.
“While there are signs that cost pressures and price rises might start to ease in 2023, Christmas cheer will be dampened this year as households cut back on seasonal spending in order to prioritise the essentials.”BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ, said: “With prices still rising, the cost of Christmas will be higher this year and shoppers will be managing their budgets more closely than at any time since the start of the cost-of-living crisis.
“Retailers are now responding by offering seasonal savings and price cuts and will be hopeful of an uptick in shopper spend as we move into December.”