The Ghost of Inflation Haunts More Than Half of Britons

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  • 57% of consumers are severely or moderately affected by the crisis.
  • Figure expected to rise to 76% in three months.
  • One of the worst case scenarios in decades.

Some 57% of British consumers have been severely or moderately affected by the cost of living crisis so far, and in three months that figure is expected to rise to 76%, based on data from market research NielsenIQ published on Wednesday.

Skyrocketing Inflation 

Britain’s inflation is the highest in the G7 group of big advanced economies. Britons are contending with inflation that was 9.9% in August and is expected to rise further this year, driven mostly by the surge in energy prices. Annual consumer price growth slowed to 9.9% from July’s 40-year high of 10.1%, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday. This was its first drop since September 2021 and below expectations in a Reuters poll for it to rise to 10.2%. However, economists warned inflation was likely to peak at around 11% in October when a new household energy tariff cap begins. Britain has been hit hard by the surge in European natural gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has added to post-COVID supply-chain bottlenecks and labor shortages.

Supermarket Sales

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retail and business insight, said households were shopping around for savings across different retailers, with consumers increasingly focusing on the cost of their weekly groceries to help manage budgets. NielsenIQ’s data showed that supermarket sales in the week ending Sept. 10 dipped to 2.48 billion pounds ($2.82 billion) . Some 400 million pounds less was spent at supermarkets year-on-year as shoppers reined in spending at the start of autumn. NielsenIQ said online’s share of the grocery market fell to 11.1%, versus 11.3% recorded last month and 12.3% a year ago. 

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Source: Reuters

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