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UK food inflation doubles in one month, says Kantar Worldpanel

Staff Writer |
British food inflation has doubled since last month, with the price of staples including butter, tea, lamb and fish all rising, industry data showed on Tuesday, adding to evidence that the impact of last year's Brexit vote is pushing up shoppers' bills.

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Market researcher Kantar Worldpanel said grocery inflation was 1.4 percent for the 12 weeks to Feb. 26, up from 0.7 percent in the 12 weeks to January 29. Food prices have been rising in Britain since the 12 weeks to January 1, bringing to an end a more than two-year period when prices fell.

Separately on Tuesday two other surveys showed British consumers cutting back on non-essential spending as the impact of the depreciation of sterling on import costs following last year's decision to leave the European Union pushes up the cost of their day-to-day shopping.

"Staples such as butter, tea and fish all saw prices rise by more than 5 percent during the past 12 weeks, as fruit and vegetables – many of which are imported – also saw an uptick in price," said Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel.

However, he pointed out that inflation is still far from universal, with prices falling across a number of categories including crisps, bacon and eggs.

"While consumers may be starting to feel a very slight pinch, increased inflation has led to overall market growth," said McKevitt.

Overall grocery sales in the 12 weeks to February 26 period rose 2.3 percent - the fastest rate since June 2014.

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