British Retail Consortium’s latest shop price index published today revealed shops and supermarkets in Britain increased prices by 4.4% in the 12 months to July – the largest rise since these records began in 2005.
Commenting, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “Runaway inflation is hitting the items consumers need most hardest, which makes the biggest spike in prices in 40 years impossible to dodge. Many consumers are feeling the inflationary pinch the most when shopping for groceries – particularly those on the breadline.
“The escalating cost of food and everyday essentials is difficult to stomach at a time when we are spending more on energy bills and to fuel our cars. This isn’t helped by the fact that real wage growth cannot keep up with the current trajectory of inflation.
“BRC’s measure of annual shop price inflation is well below the broader consumer prices index, which showed that annual inflation surged to a new 40-year high of 9.4% in July. It is important to remember that the headline grocery price inflation figure can dramatically differ from your own personal inflation number. As the cost of living continues to surge, it remains important to evaluate your spending habits, looking at what makes sense for you – not an arbitrary ‘catch all’ measurement.
“We are all increasingly feeling the brunt of runaway food inflation as retailers struggle to absorb the full extent of the cost pressures arising from more expensive transportation, labour shortages, and rising commodity and global food prices.
“Reducing the impact you feel from inflation starts first with tracking how expensive items you buy have become. interactive investor’s sample grocery basket found that staple goods have increased by as much as 56%.
“Shopping around and opting for cheaper alternatives – a long-running advice for tackling rising prices – is a greater challenge as almost every food item gets more expensive. But every little helps in the battle against inflation. Making use of supermarket loyalty cards and schemes can also go a long way in offsetting price increases. Most loyalty initiatives offer worthwhile savings ranging from exclusive discounts to members to freebies by earning points.”