BRC on consumer price inflation figures in UK: It may be an expensive Christmas dinner this year

London, 2017-Nov-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Commenting on the latest consumer price inflation figures releases by the ONS today (November 14, 2017), Rachel Lund, Head of Retail Insight & Analytics at the BRC said:

“It may be an expensive Christmas dinner this year as a combination of more costly imports and higher world food prices, particularly for dairy products, pushed food price inflation over four per cent year on year in October.

“With more of consumers’ incomes being absorbed in spending on food, retailers of non-food products are having to compete harder for business. In a dismal month for non-food sales, shoppers were offered significant discounts, leading to a drop in the inflation rate of goods such as furniture and clothing. Discounts are being offered at a time when many retailers are coming to the end of the protection from higher import costs provided by hedging facilities. That is putting an enormous squeeze on retailers’ margins as they head into what may well be a nerve wracking festive period.

“All eyes are now on the Chancellor to tackle the underlying weakness in consumer spending: we urge him to deliver a shoppers’ budget to the UK in time for Christmas.”

Source: BRC

BRC: Consumer price inflation increased 1.8% in January from 1.6% in the previous month

London, 2017-Feb-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Consumer price inflation continued on its upward trajectory in January, rising 1.8% on an annual basis from 1.6% in the previous month, broadly in line with expectations. Core inflation, which strips out erratic items such as food and energy, in fact remained unchanged at 1.6% for the second consecutive month. Whilst some areas of the consumer basket are feeling the impact of the devaluation, in other areas, continued heavy discounting is more than offsetting building underlying pressures, for now.

The main contributors to the increase in the 12-month CPI rate came from transport and food. The rising oil price and the fall of the pound continue to push up the price of motor fuels, which grew 3.4% this year compared with a fall a year earlier.

Food inflation has been creeping back towards zero over the last four months, remaining in negative territory in January, -0.4%, but recording the highest rate for over two and a half years. Meat, Fish and Vegetables have been the main drivers of the slowing rate of food deflation in recent months.

On the other Clothing and Footwear prices fell more this year than they did a year earlier, putting downward pressure on overall inflation. The proportion of items on sale was greater this year compared with last, as we also reported in our BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index in January. The poor performance over the festive period in part explains this as retailers had excess stock to clear in the January sales.

Further price increases are in the pipeline. The gap between producer prices and consumer prices in January has widened further, as the output price of manufactured goods rose by 3.5%, 1.7 percentage points higher than the CPI headline rate. Retailers are still in a position to shield consumers from rising prices, however, they cannot do this forever.

Siobhan Bentley, Analyst, Retail Insight and Analytics, BRC

Contact:

TEL: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk

Source: BRC