Shop Price Inflation Accelerated in December on Commodities, Retailers Say
U.K. shop price inflation accelerated in December as stores struggled to contain the soaring cost of commodities, the British Retail Consortium said.
Prices charged by retailers rose 2.1 percent from a year earlier, up from 2 percent in November, the London-based lobby group said in an e-mailed statement. Food price inflation was unchanged at 4 percent, while non-food price gains accelerated to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent, led by furniture prices.
Many retailers are under pressure to increase prices after a surge in the cost of commodities including oil, cotton, coffee and wheat over the past year. U.K. consumer-price inflation climbed to 3.3 percent in November, the highest in six months.
“Retailers are protecting British consumers from the full- force of global commodity cost increases with unprecedented levels of discounting,” BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said in the statement.
With concerns about the economic outlook persisting, retailers will do all they can to limit the impact of the increase in sales tax to 20 percent that took effect on Jan. 4, he said.
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