Brexit’s a blow in the stom­ach

Christ­mas meal ‘will cost more this year’

Daily Mirror - - FINANCE - Edited by GRA­HAM HISCOTT

THE av­er­age fam­ily faces shelling out an ex­tra £143 for gro­ceries over the next year, ex­perts claim.

Num­ber crunch­ers Kan­tar World­panel say prices have risen 3.4% in the past 12 months – the sharpest gain since Novem­ber 2013 – push­ing up the cost of a typ­i­cal shop by 62p to £18.26.

Data from the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics sug­gests prices are ris­ing even faster now, at 4.2% for food alone.

The jump has been fu­elled by the weak pound since last year’s Brexit vote, driv­ing up im­port costs.

The ONS data showed bread and ce­re­als have risen 4.3% in the past year; milk, eggs and cheese by 4.8%; veg­eta­bles by 5.7% and fish by 8.5%.

The Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium’s Rachel Lund said: “It may be an ex­pen­sive Christ­mas din­ner this year as more costly im­ports and higher world food prices, par­tic­u­larly for dairy prod­ucts, pushed food price in­fla­tion over 4% year on year in Oc­to­ber.”

A wider mea­sure of in­fla­tion us­ing the Con­sumer Price In­dex re­mained at 3% last month as fuel prices fell. CPI was lower than the pre­dicted 3.1%, but well above the Bank of Eng­land’s 2% tar­get. The Re­tail Price In­dex, which in­cludes hous­ing costs, hit 4%. Frances O’Grady, TUC gen­eral sec­re­tary, said: “The Gov­ern­ment must stop turn­ing a blind eye to Bri­tain’s cost of liv­ing cri­sis.” Think tank the Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion said: “The ris­ing cost of ba­sic items af­fects low and mid­dle in­come house­holds far more than bet­ter-off house­holds.” Peter Dowd MP, Labour’s Chief Sec­re­tary to the Trea­sury, said: “The Tories’ failed eco­nomic pol­icy means work­ing peo­ple are los­ing out, with wages lag­ging be­hind prices.”

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