Food prices have risen at a record rate

Food prices rose at the fastest rate since records began, spurred by accelerating inflation in the price of meat, eggs and dairy products.

Food inflation it reached 12.4% in the year to November, the highest rate in the food category since records began in 2005 and 11.6% in October.

Data is from the latest BRC-NielsenIQ In-store price indexwhich examines baskets of food and non-food products and measures the change in price over time.

Meat, eggs and dairy products have become more expensive as produce prices have risen due to the high energy costs which in turn had an impact on animal feed and transport costs.

Coffee prices “grew up” last month due to high production costs, according to British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson.

Inflation has also hit a record high for overall store prices. They increased 7.4% in the year to November, up from 6.6% in October and above the quarterly average of 6.5%.

Consequentially, Christmas it will become more expensive than in previous years, Dickinson said, as sports and recreational equipment see particularly steep price increases.

Families are cutting seasonal spending to prioritize the essentials, Dickinson added.

Many retailers are offering seasonal savings and price cuts and are hoping for increased shopper spending in early December, said Mike Watkins, head of retailer and corporate vision at information services firm NielsenIQ.

As consumers are faced with a cost-of-living crisisBusiness confidence continued to deteriorate for the third consecutive quarter across the services sector, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

The decline was particularly marked in business and professional services, where sentiment fell at the fastest pace since May 2020, the CBI survey showed.

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Business volumes were mixed across the sector with activity unchanged in business and professional services while consumer services recorded a further decrease in volumes. Profitability continued to decline in the three months to November as cost and price growth remained well above average in both sub-sectors.

According to the survey, based on responses from 297 service firms contacted between Oct. 28 and Nov. 16, next quarter volumes and profitability are expected to decline across the services sector, with severe cost and pricing pressures they should continue.

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