Christmas dinner price to increase, say researchers

A Christmas dinner for six will cost an average of £74, £3.70 more than last year, according to research carried out at the University of Nottingham.

The increase is down to food price inflation which is at a 20-year high.

The research also found the cost of an average supermarket shopping trip was 5% higher than this time last year.

However, Professor Wyn Morgan from the university said consumers should see a fall in the rate of inflation over the next 12 months.

He said: "I think overall inflation will diminish and that's suggesting that we've had our peak.

"The more inflation falls, the better it is for households. There seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel."

Academics at the University of Exeter Business School and University of Nottingham have published research, entitled Explaining UK Food Price Inflation.

They identified the two main factors driving food price inflation - high agricultural food prices and a low sterling exchange rate.

Professor Steve McCorriston said: "The UK imports 60% of the food we consume which means we are heavily affected by changes to global food prices.

"We've also been adversely affected by a low pound, which has made it more expensive to purchase food from abroad."

The paper found that increasing oil prices were also a factor in higher food prices, partly due to agricultural land being increasingly used to make bio-fuels.

Figures released on Tuesday showed the rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell from 5% to 4.8% in November, but it remains well above the Bank of England's 2% target.

CPI looks at the prices of hundreds of goods consumers commonly spend money on, including bread and petrol.

The Retail Price Index (RPI), which includes housing costs, fell to 5.3% from 5.6% last month.

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