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Alcohol prices surge in the UK

The latest annual inflation figures published today show a sharp rise in inflation on beer, wine and spirits, according to analysis by the Wilson Drinks Report (WDR).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that spirits prices were 9.5% higher in January 2013 than in January 2012. This is the largest inflation figure for spirits since March 2012 (12%).

Inflation on beer was 7.1% in January 2013, following a 0.4% decline in November 2012 and a small rise of 1.3% in December 2012.

The high levels of inflation on beer, wine and spirits contributed to a disappointing headline inflation figure, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The All Items CPI index remained flat at 2.7% in January 2013.

The rate of inflation on restaurants and cafés remained steady at 2.9%, almost unchanged since January 2012.

WDR managing director Tim Wilson commented: "The overall rate of inflation was expected to come down a bit this month. But inflation jumped dramatically in all the main alcohol categories, and the ONS singled out alcohol as the main upward inflationary pressure this month, together with air fares."

He added: "Both retailers and drinks producers are facing very tough trading conditions at the moment, with a combination of rising costs and falling consumer demand. It will be interesting to see if Chancellor Osborne will take any notice of this in the Budget next month when setting duty levels on alcohol."

by S. C.
16 february 2013, World News > Europe

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