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Inflation kept low as food price rises slow

By Rod Addy+

15-Jan-2014
Last updated on 15-Jan-2014 at 12:06 GMT

Low fruit prices have helped keep consumer price inflation down
Low fruit prices have helped keep consumer price inflation down

Low fruit and meat prices between November and December 2013 have helped dampen consumer price inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In a note issued yesterday (January 14), the ONS stated: “The Consumer Prices Index grew by 2% in the year to December 2013, down from 2.1% in November.

“The largest contributions to the fall in rate came from prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages and recreational goods and services.”

The rate of food price rises in the period was smaller than between the same two months in 2012 and was the smallest it had been since 2006, the ONS highlighted.

Banana prices fell

In particular, banana prices fell and grape prices rose less than they had a year ago. Aside from fruit and meat, price drops for fish and oils and fats also helped keep overall consumer price rises down, the ONS claimed.

The price of sugar, jams, syrups, chocolate and confectionery dropped slightly in December and the cost of vegetables, including potatoes, rose at a lower rate than it had last year, it stated.

Coffee, tea and cocoa prices overall fell this year by more than a year ago, driven particularly by instant coffee.

Beer prices rose

In alcoholic drinks, prices for whisky fell by less than a year ago, but beer prices rose by more than a year ago, driven by larger cases of cans of lager.

However, the ONS stated the dampening effect of low food price rises had been almost offset by the accelerating rate of price rises in some areas “with the main upward contributions coming from frozen pizzas and breakfast cereals”.

And it stressed: “Looking over the longer term, inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages has grown at a faster rate than overall inflation in each of the last eight years …”

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