Food prices rising by nearly a fifth delays Britain’s exit from double digit inflation

Inflation eased by far less than expected last month, with food prices continuing to accelerate and leaving Britain with double digit inflation of 10.1 per cent – twice the rate of the US (5 per cent) – the Resolution Foundation said today (Wednesday) in response to the latest ONS price data.

The biggest upward pressures on inflation in March were energy bills and food (with an annual rise of 19.2 per cent – the highest since August 1977). On the month, the biggest downward pressure came from motors fuels where prices fell by 5.9 per cent in the year to March 2023, compared with a rise of 4.6 per cent in February.

Resolution Foundation analysis shows that the effective inflation rate for the poorest tenth of households was around 3.5 percentage points higher than for the richest tenth of households in March.

James Smith, Research Director at the Resolution Foundation, said:

“Many countries have experienced big recent falls in prices pressures, but Britain has not followed suit and remains mired in double digit inflation.

“Headline inflation should fall sharply next month as the effect of last April’s energy price spike falls out of the data. But the acceleration of food price inflation to nearly 20 per cent is a major cause for concern, particularly for low-income families who spend a far greater share of their income on food than richer households.”