Shop Price annual inflation accelerated to 8.9% in March, up from 8.4% – a new high, reports BRC-NielsenIQ in its latest Shop Price Index.
Non-food inflation accelerated to 5.9%, up from 5.3% in February.
Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: "Shop price inflation has yet to peak. As Easter approaches, the rising cost of sugar coupled with high manufacturing costs left some customers with a sour taste, as price rises for chocolate, sweets and fizzy drinks increased in March. Fruit and vegetable prices also rose as poor harvests in Europe and North Africa worsened availability, and imports became more expensive due to the weakening pound. Some sweeter deals were available in non-food, as retailers offered discounts on home entertainment goods and electrical appliances.
“Food price rises will likely ease in the coming months, particularly as we enter the UK growing season, but wider inflation is expected to remain high. Retailers continue to work hard to keep prices, particularly of essentials, as low as possible by expanding value ranges and offering discounts for vulnerable groups. Government must also minimise oncoming regulatory burdens, as these will serve as a drag on investment and will ultimately contribute to higher prices for UK consumers.”