The FDF’s economic insights deliver timely analysis of developments within the wider economy and the food and drink industry. We aim to provide context about the economic events that are shaping our industry, as well as views on what they could mean for the future.

Economic insights

Prices Dashboard - Mar 2022

The Prices Dashboard tracks prices of UK food and non-alcoholic drink, as well as prices of agricultural commodities, energy, transportation and packaging.

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Food prices are rising as UK inflation hits 40-year high

Food and non-alcoholic drink inflation picked up speed for the ninth consecutive month, reaching its highest level since June 2011. April’s food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose on an annual basis by 6.7%, up from 5.9% in March.

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Resilient food and drink sector growing as economy struggles

The UK economy grew during the first quarter of this year, although it shrank in March as soaring living costs and the war in Ukraine hindered recovery. The risk of a recession is increasing but there is positive news for our industry.

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Food prices on the rise again

Food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation accelerated in March, with prices rising by 5.9% year on year, up from 5.1% in February. This is the highest inflation rate since September 2011.

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UK vacancies see a new high but households worse off

UK unemployment dipped to its pre-pandemic rate of 3.8% in the three months to February, but the country’s employment rate remained unchanged at 75.5%, 1.1 percentage points lower than in February 2020.

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Plenty of headwinds for growth

Monthly GDP was 1.5% above pre-pandemic levels in February, however the UK economy grew by just 0.1%, falling short of the 0.3% growth predicted by market analysts. Despite a strong resurgence in tourism activity, growth has slowed sharply since January, when output jumped by 0.8% as people returned to normal life following a surge in Omicron rates in December 2021.

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Highest food inflation in 10 years

February prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose at the fastest annual rate since September 2011, reaching 5.1%, up from 4.4% in January.

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Food and drink employment on an upward trend

Figures released today by the ONS show there were 19,000 more jobs in the food and drink industry in Q4 2021 compared to a year ago. Although there were 5,000 fewer jobs than in Q3, the employment trend in the industry is on an upward trajectory, as the 4-quarter average, which removes seasonal variations, indicates.

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Food and drink sector recovers in January

The food and drink manufacturing sector recovered strongly in January, with food production 6.4% higher than in December and drinks manufacturing output increasing by 1.8%.

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Food inflation below headline inflation

Annual inflation for food and non-alcoholic drink inched up to 4.3% higher in January, up from 4.2% in December. This is the largest increase since September 2013.

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Manufacturing sector crying out for new workers

Omicron delivered only a temporary setback to the UK economy, with the number of payroll employees reaching a new record of 29.5m in January

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Headwinds for sustained UK recovery

The UK economy grew by 7.5% in 2021, recovering from its 9.4% pandemic plunge in 2020.

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Food price rises contribute to highest UK inflation in 25 years

Inflation reached its highest level in 25 years, confirming that the squeeze on household budgets will remain strong in the months ahead. In December 2021, UK consumer prices were 5.4% higher than a year ago and 0.5% higher than in November.

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Report: Eating into household budgets: the Government’s recipe for food price inflation

20 July 2021

The report looks at the impact on industry and consumer food prices of seven different policies coming from either the sustainability or public health policy arenas.

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