Cost of living crisis: Shop prices rise at highest rate in more than a decade

4 May 2022, 09:01 | Updated: 4 May 2022, 09:17

Retail prices are up 2.7% on last year
Retail prices are up 2.7% on last year. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Shop prices are rising at the highest rate in more than a decade, figures show.

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Retail prices are up 2.7% on last year, according to the BRC-NielsenIQ Shop Price Index.

It marks the highest rate of inflation since September 2011, with impact of rising energy prices and the conflict in Ukraine continuing to feed through.

Prices went up from 2.1% in March to 2.7% in April.

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British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: "Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down and deliver value for their customers by limiting price rises and expanding their value ranges, but this will put pressure on them to find cost-savings elsewhere.

"Unfortunately, customers should brace themselves for further price rises and a bumpy road ahead."

Food inflation accelerated from 3.3% in March to 3.5% in April, although fresh food inflation slowed slightly from 3.5% last month to 3.4% amid fierce competition between supermarkets which resisted price hikes on everyday essentials.

Global food prices have reached record highs, seeing a 13% rise on last month alone, and even higher for cooking oils and cereals amid warnings that they will place further upward pressure on UK food prices over coming months.

Non-food products, particularly furniture, electricals and books, have seen the highest rate of inflation since records began in 2006, accelerating from 1.5% in March to 2.2% in April, exacerbated by disruption at the world's largest seaport, following Shanghai's recent lockdown.

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NielsenIQ, said: "Inflation shows no signs of abating and the increase in non-food prices is an extra challenge for the high street as fragile consumer confidence and rising living costs are likely to negatively affect consumer spending.

"With food retailing no longer immune to these pressures, supermarkets are reacting by cutting the prices of some everyday grocery products including private label to help limit shop price inflation."