"The Worst Is Yet to Come" on Food Inflation as the Cost-of-Living Crisis Pulverizes the Working Poor in "The Worst Is Yet to Come" on Food Inflation as the Cost-of-Living Crisis Pulverizes the Working Poor in "The Worst Is Yet to Come"
As the cost-of-living crisis pulverizes the working poor, Britain's leading grocery chain warns that "the worst is yet to come" in terms of food inflation.
Low-income people are having problems deciding between food and heat this winter, according to John Allan, chairman of Tesco Plc, who spoke to the BBC's Sunday Morning Live. Budgets are tight, and if widespread inflation does not subside, a "winter of discontent" will ensue.
"In some respects, the worst is yet to come, because, while Tesco's food price inflation was just 1% last quarter, we are also hit by growing energy prices. Rising energy prices have an impact on our suppliers. We're doing everything we can to compensate... but that's the kind of figure we're talking about. Of course, it's 5 p.m "recent," added Tesco's Allan.
Food and energy inflation, he said, will alter consumer spending habits, with people buying less luxury products and big-ticket things and eating out less. Households are facing one of the most dramatic increases in yearly energy prices in years as a result of food inflation.
"It concerns us, and I'm sure it concerns many others," he continued, "that individuals may have to choose between heating their houses and feeding their family." "And that's definitely not something any of us should put up with."
For our overseas readers' benefit, Tesco controls around 28% of the UK food market. So, when Allan says that the worst of the food inflation is still to come, it's cause for alarm that price spikes might go far into the spring. The socioeconomic consequences of excessive inflation are largely unclear.
Global food prices are reaching decade highs, with further records likely to be set by spring.
Inflation reached its highest level in three decades in December, putting enormous pressure on the Bank of England (BoE) to raise key interest rates in order to combat inflationary tendencies. The Bank of England boosted interest rates to 50 basis points for the second time in three months. Rate traders expect additional raises are on the way, based on implied rates.
While the Bank of England seeks to ease the suffering of already-struggling individuals, particularly low-income households, rising interest rates are already causing volatility in fixed income markets, which is spreading to stocks. Investing in firms that can deal with price shocks might be a safe shelter for investors at this turbulent time.
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