ONS inflation data released today shows that UK food and drink prices in April 2023 were up +19.0% year-on-year, by the CPI method inflicting ongoing hardship on households.
This broadly aligns to IGD’s forecast and may indicate that food price inflation has peaked – the rate in March was +19.1%, so the new data indicates a small decline.
James Walton, Chief Economist at IGD, explains: “IGD’s latest forecasts, along with today’s new figures, suggest that inflation may have peaked. This is partly because the powerful forces which drove those price increases are running out of momentum, with prices for energy, fertiliser and some basic food commodities falling.
“Despite this, due to a number of factors such as long and complex supply chains and ongoing contractual arrangements, there are still further cost increases to work through the system. This means we will continue to live with inflation for several months – which doesn’t offer much relief for hard-pressed shoppers.
“However, food retail is highly competitive and businesses have a strong incentive to pass on the benefit of lower costs to shoppers promptly This process has already begun – in April and May, several supermarkets delivered price cuts for milk, bread and butter.
“There are many variables in play, with weather and crop yields always hard to predict, but – barring major new shocks – IGD believes that food price inflation will gradually begin to slow as 2023 progresses.”
Find out more from IGD’s next economic Viewpoint report, which will be released on 8 June, exploring what’s next for food inflation.
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Notes to editors:
- IGD is an organisation of two interconnected communities. The profits from Commercial Insight are reinvested into Social Impact, which together work to drive change that makes a tangible difference for society, business and the individual.
Social Impact from IGD is delivered in four key areas:
a. People – focussed on giving young people opportunities to develop their employability and life skills, and on building the knowledge and capability of food and consumer goods industry colleagues, to foster an inclusive and productive workforce;
b. Health – nutrition experts use the latest research and behavioural science to develop practical tools that help the whole industry. IGD is collaborating with and inspiring companies to adopt best practice and implement change;
c. Sustainability - focused on mobilising the industry to tackle climate change, reduce food waste, increase food surplus redistribution, develop sustainable packaging systems and accelerate the industry’s progress towards Net Zero;
d. Economics – supporting better strategic planning and decision making, for the benefit of consumers, through economic analysis and engagement with policy makers.
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d. MarketTrack – the most trusted, rigorous market read in the retail sector;
e. Supply Chain Analysis – providing answers and unlocking potential;
f. Solutions – personalised solutions that address the critical customer and commercial challenges.
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