U.K. Grocery Inflation Record 16.7% Rise

LONDON (Reuters ) —
An employee arranges produce inside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Richmond, west London. (REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo)

British grocery inflation hit a record 16.7% in the four weeks to Jan. 22, dealing another blow to consumers battling an escalating cost-of-living crisis, industry data showed on Tuesday.

Market researcher Kantar said grocery inflation was at its highest since it started tracking the figure in 2008, with prices rising fastest in markets such as milk, eggs and dog food.

It said UK households now face an additional 788 pounds ($974) on their annual shopping bills if they don’t change their behavior to cut costs.

“Late last year, we saw the rate of grocery price inflation dip slightly, but that small sign of relief for consumers has been short-lived,” Fraser McKevitt, Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight said, noting the figure jumped a “staggering” 2.3 percentage points from December’s reading.

After a tough 2022, British consumers are facing an even tighter squeeze on their finances this year, as government support on household energy bills is scaled back and mortgage rates rise.

The Bank of England is expected to raise its main interest rate by half a percentage point to 4% on Thursday.

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