Food and drinks in Great Britain cost 16.8 percent more in December than a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics reported, setting a 45-year record.
Costs rose most strongly for bread, cheese, milk, and other staples, putting even greater pressure on low-income households already suffering under record energy prices.
Milk’s price was up 50 percent, sugar and pasta more than 25 percent, and bread 20 percent.
Higher food costs jacked up restaurants’ menu prices by 11.3 percent last month, the biggest annual jump since 1991, data shows.
However, inflation overall across the U.K. edged down in December to 10.5 percent from 10.7 percent in November and 11.1 percent in October.
TREND FORECAST: Inflation in the U.K. ran at 10.5 percent last month and the population is feeling it. And as noted by Bloomberg:
Unions representing civil servants, teachers, university staff, and train drivers have said their members will walk out on Feb. 1 as part of demands for higher pay to cope with the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.
About 450,000 workers have a mandate to strike, according to Bloomberg calculations. If all the union members took up their rights, the day’s industrial action would come close to matching every walkout throughout the whole of November.
Yet, while the U.K. economy sinks down and inflation spikes, as we report in this Trends Journal, Downing Street is spending more money and ramping up the Ukraine War by sending more weapons to Kyiv to keep bloodying the killing fields.
The guess remains, how much will the Bank of England increase its key interest rate when it meets in February. Interest-rate futures speculators have priced in a 67-percent probability that the bank will bump its rate by a half-point.
However, as we see it, the BoE will follow the U.S. Federal Reserve. If the Feds raise interest rates 50 basis points, so too will the BoE. If the Fed raises them only 25 basis points, so too will the BoE. Indeed, with the U.K. economy in serious peril, a 50 basis point rate hike will make the socioeconomic situation even worse.