The BRC said its broader measure of shop price inflation picked up to 6.6% in October from 5.7%, while food prices overall rose 11.6%, as the cost of less perishable foodstuffs rose more slowly than prices for fresh items.
"It has been a difficult month for consumers who not only faced an increase in their energy bills, but also a more expensive shopping basket," BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said. "Prices were pushed up because of the significant input cost pressures faced by retailers due to rising commodity and energy prices and a tight labour market."
A 40-Year High
Britain's official measure of consumer price inflation - which covers a wide range of goods and services including soaring energy bills - returned to a 40-year high of 10.1% last month, and the Bank of England expects it will peak this month at nearly 11%.
Outsize rises in the cost of food have come under particularly close attention, and some anti-poverty and anti-obesity charities have reported that shoppers are turning to more calorific processed foods to save money.
The BRC said retailers were under pressure from rising energy bills, staff costs and commodity prices, and urged the government to freeze a planned £800 million rise in business property taxes, which shops would pass on to customers.
"While some supply chain costs are beginning to fall, this is more than offset by the cost of energy, meaning a difficult time ahead for retailers and households alike," Dickinson said.
Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight, NielsenIQ, added, “External factors are keeping shop price inflation at record highs and the challenging economic conditions are significantly impacting consumer confidence and retail spend."