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Shareprices.com

March 05, 2010 05:00 ET

UK Endures Highest Rates of Inflation in the Western World

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - New figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have revealed that price rises by supermarkets and energy giants have left Britain with the highest inflation rate in the Western world, reports shareprices.com, a free online resource providing share information on all ftse100, 250 and 350 London Stock Exchange listed companies.

The figures indicate that the UK has endured considerable increases in the cost of food while many similar European countries have had falls. Energy price rises have also been higher here than in most other nations - the UK has witnessed an increase of 7.8% in the past year compared with just 1% in Germany.

The OECD found that Britain's inflation rate of 3.5% in January 2010 was up to three times higher than that of other Western European nations. Indeed, The Daily Mail's Cost of Living Index reported in January that the cost of a basket of the most commonly bought food stuffs had increased by 7.5% in the last 12 months alone.

Supermarket trade body The British Retail Consortium (BRC), has since denied accusations of profiteering. Its figures indicated that inflation on food prices was 2.9% in January, but fell to 1.3% in February. BRC director general Stephen Robertson commented: 'Rates of change tell you nothing about the actual levels of prices. UK shop prices are consistently lower than in other EU countries.'

Mr Robertson went on to suggest that food prices will now begin to stabilise, saying: 'Previous falls in the value of the pound and large commodity price increases, which were pushing up food prices, have now largely worked through.'

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