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UK retailers are raising store prices for the first time since 2019

Pedestrians walk with shopping bags on Black Friday in the West End shopping district of London, Great Britain, 26 November 2021. REUTERS / May James

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LONDON, December 1 (Reuters) – UK retailers raised prices for the first time in more than two years in November as the coronavirus pandemic hit global supply chains, limited staffing availability and increased inflation for shoppers , found a poll on Wednesday.

With the Bank of England considering a first rate hike since the COVID-19 crisis broke out this month, the British Retail Consortium said store prices were up 0.3% compared to November 2020, the first annual increase since May 2019.

“The effects of labor shortages, rising raw material prices and transportation costs have now clearly hit consumer prices,” said BRC Managing Director Helen Dickinson.

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The increase was driven by a 1.1% rise in food prices, while non-food prices fell 0.1%, less than October’s 1.0% decline, according to the poll, released Jan. was carried out until November 5th.

Dickinson said she expected the rate of inflation to accelerate in the coming months.

Mike Watkins, head of Retailer Insight at NielsenIQ, which co-produces the data with the BRC, said four in ten households felt that their spending was constrained by the rising cost of living.

The BRC’s retail price index covers a narrower spending range than the Bank of England’s target consumer price inflation. The CPI rose 4.2% in the 12 months to October, the largest increase in 10 years.

The BoE surprised many investors when it failed to raise the key rate from its pandemic emergency low of 0.1% on November 4th. The bets in the financial markets on an interest rate hike on December 16, after the BoE meeting in December, have been reduced in recent days due to the  -pearance of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

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Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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