UK competition watchdog steps up examination of grocery prices
Britain’s competition watchdog will step up its work looking into grocery prices, but has so far not seen evidence pointing to specific concerns in the sector, it said on Monday, after food price inflation hit a 46-year high in March.
Official data showed UK food prices were 19.1% higher in March than a year earlier, the biggest such rise since August 1977, while in April, grocery inflation was 17.3%, according to industry data.
“Given ongoing concerns about high prices, we are announcing the stepping up of our work in the grocery sector to understand whether any failure in competition is contributing to grocery prices being higher than they would be in a well-functioning market,” the Competition and Markets Authority said.
It said it would focus its work on areas where people are experiencing the greatest cost of living pressures.
The Bank of England said last week it expected overall inflation – which remained above 10% in March – to fall more slowly than it had hoped, mostly due to unexpectedly big and persistent rises in food prices.
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