Whisper it quietly but it looks like there may be early signs that inflation is beginning to show signs of easing, which would be terrific news for the economy, businesses and the whole population of Northern Ireland.
There Are Still Significant Cost Of Living Pressures
Tesco boss Ken Murphy is certainly very bullish about the future of his brand and the fact that inflation is showing encouraging signs of slowing down. He is quoted in an article in today’s Belfast Telegraph (19th June 2023) by Alyson Magee as saying:
“Customers continue to recognise our leading combination of great value and quality in every part of their basket — from essentials covered by our Aldi Price Match, through to our growing Finest range,” said Mr Murphy.
“We are very conscious that many of our customers continue to face significant cost-of-living pressures and we have led the way in cutting prices on everyday essential items.
“There are encouraging early signs that inflation is starting to ease across the market, and we will keep working tirelessly to ensure customers receive the best possible value at Tesco.”
Supermarkets Criticised In Some Quarters For Inflating Their Own Prices
The big supermarkets have recently been criticised in some quarters, with detractors saying that they have been increasing their prices further than they really needed to, using inflation as an excuse to inflate their own product prices. They have of course dismissed this criticism, saying that they have only increased their prices as a result of their own costs increasing, driven by the higher cost of raw materials, production, energy bills and higher wages. They actually have said that their profits have taken quite a hit due to these factors.
It will be interesting to see what the May inflation figures turn out to be, as these are due to be published this coming Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics. The inflation figures were at a high of 19.3% in April, which was only marginally down on the figures in March, which stood at 19.6%, and that was the highest rate for more than 45 years!
Inflation has been very damaging to the economy as a whole, but it is the consumer that is probably suffering the most of all, with wages in most instances not anywhere near keeping up with the rate of inflation. They are also having to put up with rising interest rates and all of this is squeezing the money that households have in their pocket.