Shop and food price inflation hit their highest levels since 2013 in March after the weather and higher global commodity prices took a toll.
Shop price inflation edged up to 0.9% during March, versus 0.7% in February, marking the highest rate since March 2013, according to the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index.
Non-food items stayed at the same level as the previous year. However, food price inflation accelerated to 2.5% in the month, up from 1.6% in February. It was the highest food inflation rate for more than five years.
Fresh food price inflation rose from 1.7% in February to 1.9% last month.
Ambient food prices climbed 3.4% in March compared with 1.5% the previous month, the highest rate since February 2013.
Adverse weather last year meant some UK crops such as cabbages, onions and potatoes delivered lower yields and as a result there were price increases.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the increase was driven “primarily by a sharp spike in non-perishable food inflation”.
She said: “Increases in global commodity prices and adverse weather events put upward pressures on the wholesale prices of many foodstuffs which, coupled with rises in the cost of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, pushed food inflation to 2.5% in March.”
Dickinson said a chaotic no-deal Brexit still remains the biggest threat to food inflation and would lead to higher prices and less choice on shelves.
“In order to avoid this scenario, parliamentarians from all parties must find a compromise that can command a majority in the House of Commons,” she said.