Food inflation at 15 month high

FOOD inflation is at a 15-month high as the effect of earlier rises in wheat and oil prices work through the system, the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show.

It increased to 4 per cent in September from 3.8 per cent in August as overall shop price inflation increased marginally to 1.9 per cent.

Sharp rises in wheat, oil and corn prices since early August, have been the main contributors to food inflation. However, although these commodity prices continued to rise in September, recent stability in the price of wheat and corn futures suggest that a price ceiling has been reached, according to the BRC.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Food inflation is at a 15-month high as the effect of earlier rises in wheat and oil prices work through to things like bread and meat but these production costs appear to be stabilising now.”

Mike Watkins, senior manager of retailer services at Nielsen said the combination of higher dairy, bread, biscuits and cereals prices combined with ‘cautious’ consumer spending had resulted in a slight slowdown in volume sales.

Food retailers have compensated by increasing the level of promotional spend in recent weeks, he said.

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