UK food prices could spike at 15% this summer

Grocery industry group expects high inflation to persist into 2023

Food price inflation in the UK is expected to peak at up to 15% this summer, according to the latest report released by a grocery research body. It warned that the record-high prices would linger on for another year.

In its latest report, the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) said that meat, cereals, dairy, fruit and vegetables are likely to be the most affected by a wide range of factors, including warring tensions in Eastern Europe, production lockdowns in China and export bans on vital food commodities like palm oil and wheat imposed by Indonesia and India.

“From our research, we’re unlikely to see the cost of living pressures easing anytime soon,” said IGD chief economist James Walton as quoted by Reuters.

“We are already seeing households skipping meals – a clear indicator of food stress.”

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The IGD expects the average monthly spend on groceries for a typical family of four to amount to £439 ($533) in January 2023, up from £396 ($480) in January 2022.

According to the researcher, the most vulnerable households in Britain would be hit hardest by the spike in food and drink prices as soaring costs have already triggered the biggest squeeze on family incomes since at least the 1950s.

In April, the official rate of inflation in the UK hit a 40-year high of 9% and is projected to exceed 10% later in 2022 as regulated energy tariffs are due to jump by a further 40%.

The Bank of England is looking to hike the key interest rate on Thursday for the fifth time since December as the regulator attempts to tackle the soaring inflation.

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