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Food prices rise slowly as inflation kept low

Food prices rise slowly as inflation kept low

The low cost of fruit and meat between November and December 2013 have helped reduce consumer price inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In a report issued today (January 14th), the ONS said: “The Consumer Prices Index grew by two per cent in the year to December 2013, down from 2.1 per cent in November.

“The largest contributions to the fall in rate came from prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages and recreational goods and services.”  

In this period, the rate of food price rises was smaller than it was between the same two months in 2012 and is the lowest it has been since 2006, suggests the ONS.

The report reveals that banana prices fell and grape prices rose less than they did in 2012.

In addition to fruit and meat, price drops in fish, oils and fats also helped to keep overall consumer prices down, the ONS claimed.

The price of sugar, jams, syrups, chocolate and confectionery dipped slightly in December 2013. 

According to the report, the cost of vegetables, including potatoes, increased at a lower rate than it did last in 2012.

It also claims that the prices of coffee, tea and cocoa also fell in 2013 compared to the previous year - the research suggests this drop was driven particularly by instant coffee.

In alcoholic beverages, prices for whiskey reduced by less than they did in 2012, but beer prices rose more. The ONS believes that this rise had been propelled by the availability of larger cases on canned lager.

However, the ONS highlighted the fact that the dampening effect of low food price rises had been almost offset by the accelerating rate of price increases in some areas “with the main upward contributions coming from frozen pizzas and breakfast cereals”.  

It added: “Looking over the longer term, inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages has grown at a faster rate than overall inflation in each of the last eight years.”


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