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UK inflation rises on rising food and household prices | business

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Rising food prices fueled inflation in January during the toughest coronavirus containment measures since the first wave of the pandemic.

The National Statistical Office reported that the consumer price index in January of this year rose to 0.7% from 0.6% last month. This is because stores, including grocery retailers and household goods stores, have increased prices this year by cutting discounts on items such as beds and benches.

However, as non-essential stores were closed, sales in January became widespread as retailers had to cut prices to sell their inventory as much as possible, including clothing and shoes.

The UK economy is expected to reverse earlier this year after barely breaking a double-dip recession following 2020, when gross domestic product (GDP) fell at its worst yearly in 2020.

With the epidemic disrupting business and social life, inflation fell below the Bank of England target rate of 2% as demand levels for goods and services declined.

However, analysts say the inflation rate is likely to rise over the next few months, as the gauge that measures the annual growth rate of consumer prices is no longer compared to pre-epidemic levels. And with a 9% rise in the price cap for home energy, inflation is expected to rise by summer.

ONS said in January that inflation rates were rising due to rising prices of frozen fish fingers, vegetables such as cauliflower and premium chips. The biggest contributions came from furniture retailers and home appliance stores, with fewer discounts on leather settees, double beds and sheeting.

Inflation graphic

Andy King, head of consumer price inflation at ONS, said that despite a border collapse in the first month after the Brexit transition period ended, it did not appear to have a noticeable impact on prices last month.

Overall we didn’t see anything popped out with the Brexit effect. There can be a number of factors here. The media has commented on stores that are planning to stockpile ahead of January, but it will definitely depend on cost whether or not you can get a good look at what’s out there when stockpiles decline. Since we can only see the price to the consumer, it will be different even if the business decides to pass on the price.

Analysts said Brexit has the potential to raise prices for consumers in the future. Sarah Coles, personal financial analyst at investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: Supply chain issues are not expected to ease anytime soon. Also, shipping and commodity costs will rise worldwide, which will eventually lead to inflation.

During the pivotal Christmas shopping period, as fashion retailers tried to retrace their losses when it was one of the toughest times in the downtown area, apparel prices fell 4.6% between December and January as a result of increased discounts.

As the government is preparing to announce blockade easing measures as the vaccine program progresses, analysts say inflation will rise further as the economy gradually resumes as household savings increase in the crisis as people cut spending.

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However, high unemployment rates and weaker household finances for many families, especially low-income families, may limit demand as the economy takes time to recover from its biggest shocks for centuries.

Accountant PwC economist Hannah Audino said: Consumers will see prices for products such as gasoline, utilities and services rising this year as global demand for oil increases and demand for the most affected service sectors recovers. . Limited with VAT cuts for hospitality ending in April.

On the other hand, if the unemployment rate is expected to increase due to the end of the dormant system in April, the labor market will increase its spare capacity and put pressure to lower prices by restraining wage increases.

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