Fastest price rise since 2013 hits fresh food

Fresh food prices are rising at their fastest rate in almost a decade.

The figure for healthy fresh produce was up by 3 per cent in December compared with a year ago and retailers warned that there will be more increases.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: ‘Consumers may have noticed that their Christmas shop became a little more expensive in December. Not only did prices rise, but they did so at a faster rate, especially in food.

‘Food prices were falling earlier on in 2021, but the acute labour shortages across supply chains, amongst other factors, led to the year ending with a notable increase; for example, fresh food saw the largest rate of inflation in almost a decade.’

The BRC also said that the average increase across all food prices, including packet and tinned products, was 2.4 per cent in December – the highest since March 2019.

The organisation said labour shortages are a key factor in higher prices and called for government action. It has been arguing for greater freedom to bring in workers, including HGV drivers, from overseas.

Miss Dickinson said: ‘The trajectory for consumer prices is very clear: they will continue to rise, and at a faster rate.’

The official CPI rate of inflation, which covers all goods and services, such as energy and transport, is currently running at 5 per cent and is predicted to rise to about 6 per cent in the next few months.

Source: Daily Mail