Cost of living forces four in 10 Britons to cut back on food, ONS survey finds

·2-min read

Around four in 10 people bought less food during the past two weeks due to the rising cost of living, according to a new survey.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 39% of adults said they cut back their grocery shops, rising from 34% a fortnight ago and 18% at the start of the year.

It is one of a handful of statistics in the ONS's latest social impacts survey showing growing concerns about the cost of living surge facing households with higher energy bills and fuel prices adding to the headache.

Around 40% of people said they "found it very or somewhat difficult to afford" energy bills, while around 20% said they were "unable to buy fuel" - a sharp increase from 8% earlier this month.

The figures also showed that 91% of British adults reported their cost of living had increased, up from 88% earlier this month.

The most common reason was higher food prices, with 92% of people saying their grocery bill had increased, the ONS said.

The proportion of adults who think they will not be able to save any money in the next 12 months also increased to 42% - from 34% in November.

Earlier this week, data from Kantar showed that grocery price inflation hit 5.9% in April - an 11-year high - adding an extra £271 to the amount average households will pay at the till this year.

Kantar also found that supermarket sales dropped 5.9% over the 12 weeks to 17 April.

While food costs have been rising as a result of COVID pandemic-linked global supply chain disruption, Russia's war in Ukraine has forced up the costs of many core foodstuffs and energy prices since.

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Inflation is rising globally and currently stands at a 30-year high in the UK, squeezing household spending power.

The largest contributors to growing inflation were increased fuel prices and energy bills, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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