Non-food household goods inflation at highest rate on record

Inflation for non-food household goods have hit the highest rate of inflation on record, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and market research firm NielsenIQ.

Non-food inflation climbed from 1.5% to 2.2% in April, with the prices of clothing, furniture and children’s toys soaring at the fastest rate on record since tracking began in 2006.

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Food inflation hit 3.5% compared to 3.3% in March, representing the highest rate since March 2013 in light of rising commodities such as cooking oil and wheat, both of which are heavily produced in Russia and Ukraine.

The war raging in Ukraine has sent shockwaves rippling across supply chains, sending the cost of labour and goods skyrocketing on the back of scarcity fears and disruptions.

Covid-19 lockdowns in China have also added to supply chain problems, with manufacturing grinding to a halt in tech hub Shanghai and Chinese capitol Beijing.

“Inflation has been exacerbated by disruption at the world’s largest seaport, following Shanghai’s recent lockdown,” BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said.

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The price of living already saw consumers paring back on non-essential items, with the rising 54% price cap shooting household energy bills higher with a £700 per year increase, forcing many to choose between heating or eating on the back of spiking bills.

Inflation also hit 7% in March, piling onto pressure to cut down on unessential purchases and adding an estimated £271 to the average household grocery bill, according to research conducted by Kantar.

“Food prices continued to rise, though fresh food inflation slowed as fierce competition between supermarkets resisted price hikes on many everyday essentials,” said Dickinson.

The Bank of England is scheduled to announce its interest rate decision on Thursday, which is estimated to introduce a 0.25% hike to 1% in an attempt to tackle rising levels of inflation.

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