Food prices have continued to surge, rising at the fastest rate for two years, following the fastest rise inflation for two and half years.
Compared with last year shop prices rose by 2.9%, with food prices rising by 5.7%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The cost of food has been steadily increasing since 2010 on various commodities from meat to sugar.
The vast rise in world commodity prices are the cause according to the BRC. The effect of the weakened pound and higher VAT have also been contributing factors.
Households and retailers are all feeling the squeeze and these figures highlight the reasons why.
Many retailers have fallen into administration; Habitat, Jane Norman and TJ Huges, Thorntons is also struggling. This is likely to be because they are finding it difficult to pass on higher wholesale costs.
The BRC said some 39% of grocery spending is now on goods on promotion, which shows ‘there are lots of offers available’ and ‘savvy shoppers are taking advantage to minimise the impact on real-life bills’.
Many retailers, including Marks & Spencer, have started sales two weeks before they did in 2010, with the result that some products, such as clothing and footwear, are now cheaper than a year ago.