Shop price inflation gathers pace in June

LONDON Wed Jul 6, 2011 4:31am BST

Women look in a shop window on Oxford Street, in central London May 27, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Women look in a shop window on Oxford Street, in central London May 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

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LONDON (Reuters) - Shop price inflation jumped last month to its highest rate since October 2008, led by a sharp rise in food prices, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The British Retail Consortium said higher petrol and commodity prices lifted shop price inflation to 2.9 percent in June from 2.3 percent in May.

Food inflation rose to 5.7 percent from 4.9 percent -- the biggest rise since May 2009 -- while non-food inflation rose to 1.3 percent from 0.8 percent.

"Overall shop price inflation is being driven by surging world commodity prices, the effect of the weak pound on import costs and higher VAT -- all beyond retailers' control," said BRC director general Stephen Robertson.

The BRC predicted that there would be further upward price pressure, especially on the cost of non-chilled goods, due to higher grain prices, and also second-round effects from wage rises in commodity-exporting countries.

The lobby group added that food price inflation was running well below broader consumer price inflation, and 39 percent of all grocery items purchased were on promotion.

(Reporting by Christina Fincher; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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