Brexit and driver shortages drive non-food prices higher
UK store prices rose in August and are expected to rise further still as lorry-driver shortages and costs related to Brexit are now hitting consumer budgets, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The latest figures from the BRC and research group NielsenIQ reveal a 0.4% month-on-month prices rise in August, driven by a 0.6% lift in non-food prices.
While British store prices overall remained below those in 2020, down 0.8% in August compared with the same month a year earlier, that marked a slowdown in deflation from the 1.2% year-on-year fall recorded in July.
“There are some modest indications that rising costs are starting to filter through into product prices,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
She added: “Disruption has been limited so far, but in the run-up to Christmas the situation could get worse, and customers may see reduced choice and increased prices for their favourite products and presents”.
Dickinson called on the government to increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, change the rules on funding for driver training and provide temporary visas for EU drivers, to help ease staff shortages which have led to gaps on shelves.
“Without government action, it will be the British consumers who will pay the price,” she said.
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