PanamaTimes

Sunday, Jun 16, 2024

Ukraine war and China lockdowns drive fastest UK price rises in years

Ukraine war and China lockdowns drive fastest UK price rises in years

Inflation on toys, furniture and clothing rose to 2.2% last month, the highest rate for 15 years
The cost of household goods such as toys, furniture and clothing is rising by the fastest rate in more than 15 years as the impact of the war in Ukraine combines with Covid lockdowns in China.

Non-food inflation accelerated to 2.2% in April, up from 1.5% in March, according to the latest shop price index from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and market research group NielsenIQ, the highest rate since the monitor began in 2006.

Food inflation rose to 3.5% in April – from 3.3% in March – making it the highest such figure on the index since March 2013, as the price of energy and commodities, including wheat and oil, drove up costs for many producers.

The inflation is intensifying existing pressures on the cost of living, including last month’s energy cap increase that pushed the average electricity and gas bill up by £700 a year. The cost of petrol has also shot up, while household budgets arealready under pressure after the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, raised national insurance contributions.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, which represents most of the major UK retailers, said furniture, electrical goods and books were seeing particularly high price increases as disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to rising energy prices.

It is understood that flooring, stationery and DIY materials, including paint, which are all heavily imported from China where many large cities have been shut down as part of strict anti-Covid measures, are also seeing high cost increases.

“This [inflation] has been exacerbated by disruption at the world’s largest seaport, following Shanghai’s recent lockdown,” Dickinson said. “Food prices continued to rise, though fresh food inflation slowed as fierce competition between supermarkets resisted price hikes on many everyday essentials.”

The BRC’s comments follow a warning from non-food retailers that sales have been hit by supply difficulties and weakening demand. The biggest squeeze on living standards since the 1950s has made consumers more gloomy about their finances and far less willing to spend in the shops.

Sainsbury’s, the owner of the Argos chain, flagged problems with items such as TVs and consumer electronics made in China. The retailer said it expected the supply chain difficulties in east Asia – and a squeeze on customers’ spare cash caused by rising energy, petrol and food bills – to lead to lower sales of such items.

Shares in the household appliance specialist AO World fell by more than a fifth last week as it said consumer demand for electrical goods had “progressively weakened”.

Households are paring back spending on large non-essential items as the average household faces potential grocery price increases of £271 a year, according to the latest data from market research firm Kantar. It said shoppers had begun stockpiling some goods, such as sunflower oil, amid concerns about price rises and potential shortages.

Meanwhile, the rise in the cost of living is expected to drive a surge in personal borrowing.

Demand for credit from UK households is expected to rise to a five-year high of 7.9% – or about £16bn – in 2022, according to the latest EY Item Club UK bank lending forecast, as consumers increasingly turn to credit cards to cover bills.

The rise would mark a reverse in trends from the first phase of the pandemic when many people paid down personal debts with nearly £200bn in extra cash saved – mostly by wealthier households – because of restrictions on travel, socialising and visiting high street shops.

However, EY predicted demand for unsecured loans would diminish as households are likely to cut spending on discretionary purchases and big-ticket items, such as sofas and household appliances,to save money for essentials.

Growth in mortgage lending is also expected to decline from 4.3% last year to 3.8% this year and 3.3% next – to £59.4bn and £53.5bn in 2022 and 2023 – amid rising interest rates and growing cost of living pressures.
Comments

Oh ya 2 year ago
What about central banks printing huge amounts of money? You know the real reason for inflation

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
Inside El Salvador’s 40,000 Inmate Mega-Prison
Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and Suzuki have committed fraud; falsified safety test results
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
×