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Food inflation continues to ease with fish, vegetable and dairy prices falling

Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 13.6% in the year to August 2023.

This was down from 14.9% in July and a recent high of 19.2% in March 2023, which was the highest rate seen for over 45 years.

This is according to our Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) release.

The latest easing was because prices rose 0.3% between July and August 2023, which was a smaller rise than the 1.5% increase between the same two months last year.

Prices for milk and cheese fell between July and August 2023, compared with larger price rises last year. This led to the annual rate for milk, cheese and eggs falling to 15.3% in the year to August 2023, down from 18.7% in July.

Falling prices for fish and vegetables led to a similar easing of annual inflation. This was from 13.4% in July to 6.8% in August for fish, and from 16.7% in July to 14.0% in August for vegetables.

As prices continue to rise, around half (49%) of adults across Great Britain say they have spent more than usual to get what they normally buy when food shopping within the past two weeks.

This is according to those asked between 6 and 17 September 2023 as part of our latest Public opinions and social trends bulletin.

The latest survey also reveals that more than 4 in 10 (46%) of adults said they were buying less food when food shopping in the past two weeks.

Rising food costs was the most commonly reported reason among the 56% of adults who said their cost of living had risen compared with a month ago.

Of those, 95% said one of the reasons for their rising costs was higher food shopping prices.

According to more detailed analysis from the survey covering the period 8 February to 1 May 2023, 1 in 20 adults (5%) said they had run out of food in the past two weeks and been unable to afford more.

However, this figure was much higher among certain groups of the population. Read our bulletin on the impact of increased cost of living to find out which groups were most at risk of running out of food.

You can explore how the prices of 450 items in the inflation basket – including the cost of food and eating out - have increased over the past year with our shopping prices comparison tool.

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