Year-on-year price increases for groceries hit an all-time high of 17.5% in the four weeks to 19 March compared with a year earlier, according to the latest figures from the data firm Kantar. The prices of eggs, milk and cheese are rising at the fastest pace.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said “poor harvests in Europe and north Africa worsened availability” of fruit and vegetables and the weakness of sterling further pushed up the cost of imports. Prices of fruit and vegetables grown out of seasons in greenhouses in the UK and other northern European countries were also affected by high energy costs.
Ms Dickinson added that the rising cost of sugar had also fed through into higher prices for chocolate and other sweets as the Easter holidays approached.
Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, at Hargreaves Lansdown, a financial services company, said the cost of living crisis was “showing little sign of dying down”.
It follows the shock rise in inflation recorded by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month. Experts were expecting the rate to start easing downwards. But the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to 10.4% in the 12 months February – up from 10.1% in the previous month.
The ONS said the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose at their fastest rate in 45 years over this period, with the largest contributor to the increases being fresh vegetables.
Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “Food costs keep going up and up, much to the dismay of the British public, who had hoped the bill at the checkout would have dropped by now.
Ms Suter added that those hit hardest are low income families, who spend more of their overall income on food.
Almost half of households (47%) say they are concerned about paying their mortgage or rent in the coming year, according to new data from financial services provider Legal & General.
The findings, from its Rebuilding Britain Index survey of 20,000 households, also show that 95% have experienced a real-terms pay cut over the last 12 months due to soaring inflation.
The lowest income groups – those with a household annual income of less than £20,000 – are most likely to feel that their quality of life is declining at 29%, compared to 13% in the highest income households.
More than half of respondents to the survey said they had reduced day-to-day expenditure in response to rising inflation and costs. And 51% said they expect their spending to have to decrease even further over the next 12 months.
Inflation is widening the gap between the wealthiest and poorest households, according to L&G’s survey. It found that one in five households have experienced a decline in income, with lower income communities hit the hardest.
New research from Nationwide Building Society has revealed that almost four-in-10 (38%) consumers have used credit cards in the last six months to tide them over until payday or benefits payment.
The poll of more than 2,000 people across the country also revealed that almost two thirds (63%) are worried about the state of their personal finances and their ability to cover essential costs.
increases 增长，增多 ; 增加 ; 增长 ; 增多 ; increase的第三人称单数和复数
groceries 杂货 ; 食品杂货 ; 食品杂货店(在美国英语中grocery store常用以指supermarket) ; grocery的复数
compared with 和…比起来 ; 与……相比较
a year 一年 ; 一年一次 ; 一年两次
according to 根据 ; 据 ; 按 ; 依照 ; 按照
eggs 蛋 ; 卵 ; 禽蛋 ; 鸡蛋 ; 卵子 ; 卵细胞 ; 怂恿 ; 鼓励 ; egg的第三人称单数和复数
cheese 干酪，奶酪 ; 干酪状的东西，扁圆的东西 ; 笑一笑/茄子 ; <主美俚>合适的东西，极好的东西 ; <主美俚><常贬>要人，大亨 ; <主美俚><常贬>荣华富贵 ; <口>过分的多愁善感 ; <俚>停止，终止 ; 卑躬屈节