Food inflation 8.8% in year to October, BRC and NielsenIQ say

Food inflation has decreased for the sixth month in a row and is now at a level not seen in more than a year, according to figures from an industry lobby group and consumer information company.

In the year up to October the rate of food price rises stood at 8.8%, down from 9.9% in September, data collated by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and NielsenIQ showed.

It means food is still becoming more expensive but at a slower pace than before.

Not since July 2022 has the growth been this low.

Latest official Office of National Statistics (ONS) stats said food and non-alcoholic drink inflation was 12.2% in the year to September.

The overall rate of shop price rises and the pace of non-food inflation was lower than food inflation and both were on the decline.

Inflation was still high as a weaker pound made importing goods pricier and producer costs remained high, however, domestically produced food such as fruit came down in cost from September, Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the BRC, said.

Shop price inflation decelerated to 5.2% in the 12 months to October, down from 6.2% in September. It's a low also not seen in more than a year, since August 2022.

During the same period non-food inflation fell to 3.4%, down from 4.4% a year before.

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Fresh food inflation dropped to 8.3%, down from 9.6% and ambient food inflation (foods stored at room temperature, typically on shelves) dipped to 9.5% from 10.4%.

Amid the high rates of inflation, the BRC called for business rates support from the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Business rates, taxes businesses pay, are changed every year in line with inflation.

"Without immediate action from the chancellor, retailers have an additional £470m per year on their business rates bill, jeopardising the progress made," Ms Dickinson said.

"Ultimately, it's consumers who would pay the price for the rising rates bill."

In order for inflation to continue to fall, the government must not increase rates, Ms Dickinson said. "It is vital that the government does not burden businesses with unnecessary new costs."

Retailers have been attempting to keep prices down for consumers amid high borrowing, transport and input costs, she added.