James Moore: Lean times looming as staple food prices rocket

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The Independent Online

Outlook Talking of those who don't enjoy gargantuan pay packages, it looks like there's more woe on the way. Today the British Retail Consortium publishes figures showing food price inflation has hit a floor at around 3.1 per cent, which is still comfortably above the average pay rise. And the problem is that worse is to come.

The prices of products such as bread and pasta have already started to pick up, while the BRC warns that there are more pressures in the pipeline which will feed through to other staples in due course.

The only thing shielding the consumer from a thoroughly grim time in the next few months is the intense competition on the high street.

If you haven't noticed the rather clever ads from the discounter Aldi, you will soon. It clearly scents an opportunity and it may very well be onto something. Cheap is what people are going to need, and bother the cheerful.

Still, here's something that should cheer everyone up. The Prime Minister has just completed his reshuffle. And it's not had any impact on the Treasury. So all the people who have done such a marvellous job with the economy over the past couple of years are still in place. Praise be for small mercies.