The UK’s retail trade association has warned that retailers will no longer be able to protect consumers from the increase of imported goods since the Brexit vote last June.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC)’s latest report shows that food prices increased again in August, from 1.2 percent in July to 1.3 percent.
In addition, the deflation rate for non-food products was 1.3 percent this month, the lowest rate in four years, as shop prices edged closer to inflation.
In particular, as the UK moves into the winter months and starts having more of a reliance on imported fruits and vegetables, shoppers will start to see prices rise.
This is bad news for families as price increases across food and Non-Food products are going to start putting more pressure on household budgets.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said:
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The reality is that with protection from hedging policies comes to an end, Non-Food retailers are running out of options for protecting shoppers from the significant increases in the price of imported goods since the EU referendum in June last year.
Dickinson has called for the UK government to make households a priority as it begins negotiations with the EU on its future trading relationship.
It should do all it can to avoid a situation where future tariffs and administrative costs lead to price increases on top of those already being faced by consumers.
Speaking of the UK’s trade links with the EU, the BRC is concerned that imports of products including food, wine, and clothing, could be disrupted once the UK leaves the Customs Union after 29 March 2019.
It is estimated that 79 percent of all food and drink imported into the UK comes from the EU.
A strong deal on customs is absolutely essential to deliver a fair Brexit for consumers.