Global price increase sees food bills soar

Our gas and electricity bills are on the rise, the petrol pumps give our wallets a regular beating and now the weekly supermarket shop is set to follow suit.

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According to the British Retail Consortium, global price increases are already feeding through to the supermarket shelves and overall, food prices are rising at the fastest rate for over a year.

Annual food price inflation is now four per cent, the highest since April last year and families already worrying about their utility bills will find they are paying much more for a trolley-load.

Staples such as breakfast cereals are showing the biggest price increases. Droughts have ruined many crops in Russia, leading to a 45 per cent rise in the price of wheat, while corn is also up 42 per cent on last year.

And with growing demand from countries such as China, meat prices are also soaring.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson believes the costs are now "stabilising" and believes the worst may have passed.

Yet over the past three years, food prices in Britain have increased by 8.1 per cent, according to a Government study published just last week.

That's twice the European average and 2.7 times the increase in France.

Still, it's a relief to know that the supermarkets aren't suffering too much - some have even managed to increase their profit margins despite the recession.

Last year Tesco made a profit of £5.58 on every £100 of sales whereas the previous year, that figure was just £5.41.

What do you think? Do you resent the supermarkets making such a profit when their customers are struggling? Leave your comments below.