Brexit’s a blow in the stomach
Christmas meal ‘will cost more this year’
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.”