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British grocery inflation eases to lowest rate in 15 months, providing relief for shoppers and government

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British Grocery Inflation Eases to Lowest Rate in 15 Months, Providing Relief for Shoppers

British grocery inflation has eased to its lowest rate in 15 months, according to industry data released on Tuesday. The report from market researcher Kantar revealed that annual grocery inflation was 11% in the four weeks leading up to October 1st, down from 12.2% in the previous month. This news is likely to provide relief for shoppers who have been feeling the strain of high prices and also for the government, which has made bringing down inflation a key economic pledge.

Tom Steel, Kantar’s strategic insight director, commented on the findings, stating, “Grocery price inflation is still very high, but shoppers will be relieved to see the rate continuing to fall. For the first time since last year, the prices of some staple foods are now dropping, and that’s helping to bring down the wider inflation rate.”

The report highlights that all major supermarket groups in the country have reduced the prices of essential products in recent months. Tesco, the market leader, announced last week that it had lowered prices on 2,500 products in the first half of the year and predicted that food inflation would continue to decline in the second half.

However, it’s worth noting that while the overall trend is positive, prices for certain products are still on the rise. Kantar identified eggs, sugar confectionery, and frozen potato products as areas where prices are increasing the fastest.

The data from Kantar, which provides the most up-to-date snapshot of UK grocery inflation going into October, is being closely monitored by consumers, the Bank of England, and lawmakers. This is because Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made a promise to halve overall inflation by 2023, ahead of a probable national election in 2024.

In addition to the inflation figures, Kantar’s report also revealed that grocery sales rose by 9.1% in the four weeks leading up to October 1st, compared to the same period last year. This increase in sales can be attributed to the joint warmest September on record, which boosted the demand for traditional summer favorites. Volume sales of ice cream, burgers, and dips saw significant growth, with increases of 27%, 19%, and 10% respectively.

However, separate surveys published on Tuesday by the British Retail Consortium and Barclays indicated that consumers held off on much of their nonessential spending last month. This can be attributed to the rising prices of motor fuel, which compounded the broader impact of the high cost of living.

Overall, the easing of grocery inflation brings some much-needed relief to UK shoppers who have been grappling with high prices. While there are still areas where prices continue to rise, the downward trajectory of grocery inflation is a positive sign for the economy.

More detail via Investing.com UK here… ( a )

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