New pilot data shows that UK consumers face much larger price increases on some budget foodstuffs, including pasta, chips and bread, with poor households bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis.
To highlight the challenge facing low-income families, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that prices of some low-cost groceries increased at a much faster rate than general inflation in the year to April.
The price of pasta jumped more than a basket of 30 basic foodstuffs collected by government statisticians, an increase of 50% from the previous year — more than five times the main rate of inflation of 9% for the same period.
The figures also highlight above-average French fries (up 17%), bread (16%), ground beef (16%) and rice (15%).
The Office for National Statistics decided to compile empirical data, tracking price changes for less expensive daily groceries sold by online supermarkets, after anti-poverty activist Jack Monroe highlighted the risks to Britain’s poorest households from faster budget price increases. brand elements.
However, the Office for National Statistics said it found that the overall inflation rate for the 30 daily groceries it picked was around 6%, about the same as the 6.7% inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages last year, with the price of some budget staples including potatoes. Cheese and pizza that fall during the period.
Monroe, who has held talks with the National Statistics Office about data collection, welcomed the release of the numbers, saying she backed up her research and evidence from January. “Increases in the value of brands and fundamentals were well above average inflation statistics.” Tweet.
“As I have said for 10 years now, and as many others have pointed out before + by my side, being poor is much more expensive. And now artisanal experts in data and statistics collection are usefully, systematically and stratified backing that up. This seems like a tremendous advance.”
Analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies indicates that the expected increase in gas and electricity bills expected in October could lead to average annual inflation rates of up to 14% for the poorest tenth of households, compared to 8% for the richest. This is because lower-income families spend a greater share of their budgets on basics like food and energy than richer families.
UK inflation for April hit its highest rate since 1982 on the back of rising global energy prices, exacerbated by the Russian war in Ukraine. The Bank of England has warned that the measure for the annual jump in the cost of living could reach 10% later this year.
With the government facing heavy pressure over its handling of the cost of living crisis, Rishi Sunak announced a £15 billion financial support package targeting low-income families last week.
According to new snapshots from ONS, the average price of the lowest 13 out of 30 groceries, aggregated from internet prices at seven retailers, has risen faster than the official inflation gauge for food and nonalcoholic beverages.
In monetary terms, the largest price increases were measured, on average, for ground beef (up to 32p for 500g to £2.34) and chicken breast (from 28p to £3.50 for 600g). Pasta prices are up 17p, vegetable oil is up 14p and crackers and rice are up 12p.
However, prices for some lower-cost items have fallen, including a 14% drop for potatoes and a 7% drop in the price of cheese, as well as for pizza (4%), chips and sausages (3%).
The sharp rise in pasta and bread prices comes amid fears that the Russian war in Ukraine could exacerbate global food poverty by increasing the cost of wheat and other key agricultural commodities that countries usually export in large quantities. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, while Ukraine, known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” ranks fifth.