Food prices are rising at more than three times the rate of inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures showed that food prices are accelerating at their highest rate for 14 years. The increases in wheat and dairy prices mean food factories are having to pay 6.6 per cent more for their raw ingredients than they did a year ago – the highest rise since 1993.

These increases will be passed to consumers from next year, alongside the general rising costs of living and the credit crisis.

Ruth Lea, a leading economist and adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, told The Daily Telegraph: “All sorts of things are hitting people next year, from higher mortgage payments – despite last week’s cut – to council tax, which is likely to be much higher. Then look what is happening at the petrol pumps. Now you have pressure on food prices. They are all conspiring to undermine people’s disposable income.”

The ONS figures come as it was revealed that milk prices have hit their highest level for 11 years. The statistics from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, showed farmers received 26.53p a litre for their milk in October – a 51 per cent increase in the past six months. A pint of milk costs 40p, compared with 35p a year ago.