UK shop price inflation hit a new high in August as the war in Ukraine pushed up the cost of food, according to figures released on Wednesday by the British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ.
Shop price inflation jumped to 5.1% from 4.1% in July, marking a new record for the measure since the index started in 2005.
Meanwhile, fresh food price inflation rose to 10.5% in August from 8% a month earlier, hitting its highest level since the global financial crisis in September 2008.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Mounting cost pressures up and down supply chains meant shop price inflation hit a new high in August. The war in Ukraine, and consequent rise in the price of animal feed, fertiliser, wheat and vegetable oils continued to push up food prices. Fresh food inflation in particular, surged to its highest level since 2008, and products such as milk, margarine and crisps saw the biggest rises.
“The rise in shop prices is playing into wider UK inflation, which some analysts are predicting could top 18% in 2023. The situation is bleak for both consumers and retailers, but retail businesses will remain committed to supporting their customers through offering discounts to vulnerable groups, expanding value ranges, fixing prices of essentials, and raising staff pay. However, as retailers also grapple with growing cost pressures, there is only so much they can shoulder.
“The new Prime Minister will have an opportunity to relieve some of the cost burden bearing down on retailers, like the upcoming increase in business rates, in order to help retailers do more to help their customers.”