UK shop prices continue to rise, beauty prices a key factor
We hear a lot about the headline inflation figure, but more important for many consumers is the price of goods in stores and the latest BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index showed annual store prices rising 1.8% last month. That was up from 1.5% in January.
It was the highest figure since November 2011 and was partly driven by non-food prices rising 1.3% (after a 0.9% hike in January and a 0.2% fall in December).
While food price inflation was the biggest issue, the index also showed that non-food product categories such as cosmetics were major factors in the increase.
The overall inflation figure for the UK is running at more than 5% and is forecast to top 7% within a few months. With prices of essentials like food, mortgages, petrol and more, it means many consumers are likely to rein in their discretionary spending in the months ahead.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “Price rises will be unwelcome news for households who already face falling disposable income because of the rise in national insurance and energy price caps.
“Retailers continue to face cost pressures from higher shipping rates, with crude oil prices having almost doubled over the last year. Other pressures include labour shortages, commodity price increases, and rising energy prices. Retailers are going to great lengths to mitigate against these price rises and support their customers, for example, many supermarkets have expanded their value ranges for food. Unfortunately, there are limits to the costs that retailers can absorb.”
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