BRC issues warning for 2024 despite falling food inflation 

As UK food inflation falls to its lowest levels in 17 months, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has issued a caution that this progress could be undone next year.
Wed 20/12/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

According to BRC data, food inflation slowed to 7.8% in November, down from 8.8% the previous month, thanks to lower energy prices. This marks the seventh consecutive month of falling food inflation. The BRC also reported that fresh food prices were at 6.7 per cent in November, down from 8.3 the previous month and March’s peak of 17.8%.

A smaller decrease was seen with the price of ambient food (food that can be stored at room temperature and usually imported), which dipped to 9.2% in November from 9.5% in October. This was due to the weak pound as more food is imported in this category.

Despite the easing in inflation, BRC chief Helen Dickinson warned this work could be undone in 2024 due to rising costs such as business rates, corporation tax and the National Living Wage.

She said: “Retailers are committed to delivering an affordable Christmas for their customers. They face new headwinds in 2024 – from government-imposed increases in business rates bills, to the hidden costs of complying with new regulations. Combining these with the biggest rise to the National Living Wage on record will likely stall or even reverse progress made thus far on bringing down inflation, particularly in food.”


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