British supermarket Morrisons cuts prices of nearly 50 products
LONDON (Reuters) – British supermarket Morrisons said on Monday it was cutting the prices of 47 products by an average of over 25%, in another sign that a surge in inflation might be set to abate.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s key economic pledge to halve inflation in 2023 has been undermined by persistently high food inflation, which was running at over 19% in April, according to the most recent official data, and 17.2% in May, according to industry data.
Any signs that it could abate or even reverse in the coming months are being closely watched by the Bank of England, lawmakers and consumers ground down by a cost of living crisis into its second year.
Morrisons, Britain’s fifth largest supermarket group, said products subject to the latest price cuts included beef mince, ham, tomatoes, spinach and wholemeal pittas.
It said a pledge to hold the new prices for at least eight weeks represented an investment of 26 million pounds ($33.3 million).
On Friday, market leader Tesco, said Britain’s food inflation has peaked.
Also last week, Asda, the No. 3 player, froze the prices of over 500 products until the end of August, No. 2 Sainsbury’s reduced the price of toilet paper, and upmarket grocer Waitrose reduced the price of over 200 products.
More light will be shed on grocery inflation when market researcher Kantar provides its latest reading on Tuesday and official data for May is published on Wednesday.
EXPLAINER-Why is UK food inflation so stubbornly high?
($1 = 0.7798 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Alistair Bell)