Monday, October 3, 2022
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Food costs push UK inflation to new 40-year high

Price increases are accelerating at their quickest rate in more than 40 years as a result of rising food costs, which have caused UK inflation to reach double digits for the first time since 1982.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation increased from 9.4% in June to 10.1% in the 12 months that ended in July.

Prices are growing faster than salaries, which is cutting into household budgets.

According to the Bank of England, inflation might reach a high point of over 13% this year.

Costs associated with energy, gasoline, and diesel are also a factor in inflation. However, the ONS reports that the biggest drivers of price increases in July were food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Bread, cereals, milk, cheese, and eggs had the fastest price increases, but the prices of vegetables, meat, and chocolate also increased.

Other essentials like toilet paper, pet food, and toothbrushes all saw price increases.

Another significant contributing element was the cost of transportation, with increases in both domestic and international train tickets. Due to the rise in demand, the cost of package vacations also climbed.

Shaf Islam, who owns the Chutney Ivy restaurant in Leicester, claimed that the hospitality sector was seeing steep cost rises.

According to him, “Everything’s gone up, from salt to soft drinks, rice to oil.”

He said, “My power bill is increasing from £1,000 a month to £3,000.”

Reluctantly, he is passing some of the additional expense on to clients.

“We have raised pricing for the first time in five years. I know how difficult it is for people, therefore I don’t enjoy doing it “explained he.

The University of Nottingham full-time PhD student Rebecca Brown is concerned about what will happen when her energy costs increase once more this winter.

Already, the cost of her gas and electricity has increased from £80 to $140.

She contributes to her student debt by working part-time, and she and her partner split the expense of living.

After paying my rent, utilities, bus ticket, phone, Netflix, and Spotify fees, I have about £300 to £400 per month left over for food, entertainment, and essentials, she claimed.

“Things like going to the dentist and getting my hair cut are very much off limits, but when I’ve needed it, my parents have helped me with that.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the price of food commodities has increased globally, which has contributed to higher costs at checkout counters.

The two nations, who are significant exporters of products like wheat and sunflower oil, have seen their supply interrupted by the war.

Some commodities, particularly grain and edible oils, have significantly decreased in price, although it normally takes six months before this affects pricing at retail stores.

“Supermarkets have had no alternative but to pass on price hikes from suppliers, themselves battling with extraordinary inflation in raw material and ingredient input prices,” said Kien Tan, director of retail strategy at PwC.

With claims that the cost of a pint of milk has more than quadrupled in some supermarkets since the year’s beginning, this problem has been particularly acute in labor and resource-intensive categories like dairy.

When rising energy prices take effect in October, the inflation rate is anticipated to increase much more.

When the price cap, or the maximum amount suppliers may charge consumers in England, Scotland, and Wales for per unit of energy, goes increased once again in January, it is predicted that the typical household energy bill will increase to £3,582 in October and £4,266 in January.

The Bank of England has issued a warning that the UK will experience a recession later this year. The economy is expected to contract in the final three months of 2022 and continue to contract until the end of 2023.

The rising cost of living will be one of the main difficulties the incoming prime minister will face in the fall, and leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have argued about what additional help they would provide to households.

The favorite to win the contest, Ms. Truss, has promised to lower taxes, but Mr. Sunak has suggested that this should wait until inflation is under control.

Conservative peer and Asda chairman Lord Stuart Rose urged increased assistance for people who are most in need.

We were really late to notice this train coming out of the tunnel. He said on BBC Radio 4’s Today show, “It’s here, and it’s not about to run us over, it’s [already] run quite a few people over.

The government, in the face of skyrocketing inflation, has “no simple alternatives,” according to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

But he said that the Treasury was putting “all the options” on further household help in place for the future prime minister.

Conservatives were charged by Labour for “ignor[ing] the severity of this problem.”

“We must get a handle on increasing inflation that is leaving households scared sick about making ends meet,” said shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson is a business journalist, with over a decade of experience in the trenches of reporting up-to-date business news for publications all over the world. With a wealth of knowledge at his back, Bob strives to bring the most important insights into the business world for TheOptic daily.
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