Rising food and fuel prices are behind an official
annual rate of inflation of 4.4% - double the
Government?s target and the highest rate for 16 years.
New data from the Office for National Statistics shows
that the cost of living rose by 0.6% in July ? the
biggest single jump since the early 1990s.
Soaring food prices were responsible for half the
increase, the ONS said, with the cost of meat in
particular rising rapidly.
Government figures now predict that inflation could
reach 5% by the autumn.
The news comes after research by The Grocer revealed
that food bills had increased by around 4% in July
alone, with the Grocer Price Index finding a trolley of
100 goods from the big four supermarkets had risen in
cost from an average of ?198.96 to ?207.31 over the
course of the month.
However, Nielsen retail services senior manager Mike
Watkins said food prices would begin to plateau in
coming months, saying: "Consumers can expect food prices
to stabilise from October onwards - although the cost of
food will still remain high. Compared with the same
period last year, inflation will settle down because
last autumn was when it started gaining real momentum.?