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Retail

UK Food Inflation Could Hit 10%, M&S Chairman Warns

Food price inflation in Britain could hit 10% this year, the chairman of retailer Marks & Spencer has said

"It wouldn't be surprising to see food price inflation over the course of the year running towards 8-10%," Archie Norman told BBC radio.

"But we don't know that yet because it runs through the year, some has gone through now but quite a lot's still to come," he said.

Inflation Continues To Rise

British grocery inflation hit 5.9% in April, its highest level since December 2011, according to market researcher Kantar.

On Monday, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said rising food prices, which have been pushed up by the conflict in Ukraine, were a major worry, not just for Britain but for developing economies too.

"Sorry for being apocalyptic for a moment, but that is a major concern," he said.

Norman said that was not a phrase he would use.

"I think you have to keep it in context, wages have been rising quite well in the UK, we've given all our people (an) over 5% wage increase this year," he said.

Marks & Spencer recently announced plans to increase hourly pay rates across the UK.

Job Vacancies

Elsewhere, new data from the UK indicates that there are currently more job vacancies then there are people unemployed, as many workers are seeking out higher pay.

“There’s been a record number of people moving job over the last quarter as the cost the living squeeze really begins to grab hold of the country suggesting workers are chasing higher pay in an increasingly tight labour market," commented Danni Hewson, AJ Bell financial analyst.

"For the first time since records began there are more vacancies than people out of work, a situation that’s forcing employers to adopt whatever methods they can to tempt workers to jump ship."

The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 3.7%, its lowest level since 1974.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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