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UK retailers warn of pre-Christmas price rises

UK retailers warn of pre-Christmas price rises
UK retailers warn of pre-Christmas price rises   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – British retailers warned on Wednesday of pre-Christmas price rises after they reported the smallest year-on-year decline in the average selling price of goods in their stores since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The British Retail Consortium trade body said shop prices rose by 0.4% on the month in October and were 0.4% lower than a year before, the smallest year-on-year fall since January 2020.</p> <p>Price rises were led by higher costs for food, which was 0.5% more expensive than a year earlier.</p> <p>“It is now clear that the increased costs from labour shortages, supply chain issues and rising commodity prices have started filtering through to the consumer,” <span class="caps">BRC</span> chief executive Helen Dickinson said.</p> <p>Three in five retailers planned to raise prices before Christmas, she added.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">BRC</span>’s shop price index covers a narrower range of spending than the consumer price index targeted by the Bank of England, which touched its highest since 2012 in August at 3.2%.</p> <p>BoE Chief Economist Huw Pill predicted last week that inflation could soon reach 5% – more than twice the BoE’s target – and financial markets expect the central bank to raise interest rates for the first time since the start of the pandemic next week.</p> <p>The <span class="caps">BRC</span> data is produced with market research company NielsenIQ, which said rising prices could lead to a shift away from discretionary spending.</p> <p/> </div>