Supermarkets have been raising food prices faster than inflation in Britain and could face a competition inquiry, according to investment bank UBS.
Britain is experiencing steeper food price rises than any other member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to the bank. This could lead politicians to question the fairness of supermarket pricing and stimulate a competition inquiry.
The report said: “UK food prices are rising more rapidly than most other OECD economies’ food prices, and have significantly outstripped food retailers’ cost inflation. This could allow UK politicians to suggest food price inflation to ‘unfair’ or ‘excessive’.”
Commodity price inflation over the past few months would justify a 3% to 3.5% increase in food prices according to UBS but prices have soared by 6% to 6.5%.
Food prices are rising at an annual rate of 4.9% in Britain compared to a eurozone average of 1.8%. The weak pound is believed to have contributed to the dramatic increase.