UK households face a more expensive Christmas store after labor shortages and soaring costs pushed retail prices up for the first time since May 2019, industry figures show.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) store price index was up 0.3% in November compared to the same month last year.
It follows a 0.4% drop in October, ending a two-and-a-half-year period in which prices have fallen year-over-year.
Today, as global commodities and transportation become more expensive and truck drivers and food processing workers are harder to find, the pressure of construction costs on businesses is starting to build. echo.
This is in addition to the headaches associated with inflation that households face as energy bills and fuel costs go up while tax increases and possible interest rate hikes are looming on the horizon.
BRC Managing Director Helen Dickinson said: “The impact of labor shortages, rising commodity prices and transportation costs have now very clearly taken hold of consumer prices. .
The BRC index showed that prices for non-food products continued to fall – by 0.1% – in November, despite being the slowest drop since May 2019, and sharply down from at 1% the previous month.
Meanwhile, food inflation, which accelerated to 1.1% from 0.5% in October, was the highest since November last year.
As part of this, fresh food prices rose 1.2% year on year, compared to 0.3% a month earlier, which was the largest increase since August 2019.
“With the rise in food prices, and in particular fresh food… we might find some of our Christmas shopping a bit more expensive this year,” Ms. Dickinson said.
She also highlighted the increase in global food costs with basic commodities such as vegetables which have doubled in price in two years.
“With persistent labor shortages across the supply chain expected to continue for some time and no signs that rising transportation and commodity costs will abate, we expect this as the rate of inflation accelerates over the next few months, ”Ms. Dickinson added.
“Retailers are doing everything they can to mitigate the impacts for their customers.
“The government must also play its part and work with industry to find long-term solutions to labor shortages, as this will help relieve cost pressures and protect the pockets of the British public who do already facing increasing costs. “
The store price index reading for November comes after the official Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation hit a low 10 years high 4.2% in October.
The CPI, which covers household costs such as energy and fuel as well as store prices, was predicted by the Bank of England reach 5% In the coming months.
A survey released last week by the CBI suggested that retailers have been raise prices at the fastest pace since 1990, with clothing and department stores fluctuating widely.
The retail sector has recently benefited from a recovery in sales, with official figures showing a rebound in October after five months of decline – in part due to consumers shopping for their Christmas gifts early for fear that supply chain issues could affect availability.