17 June 1998
Fresh veg prices force up inflation

AN increase in seasonal food prices sent the rate of inflation to a six-year high in May, according to figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.

The headline rate climbed 0.6% on the month, taking the annual rate to 4.2%. The underlying rate, excluding mortgage interest payments, jumped by 0.2% to 3.2% in May.

More than half the monthly rise was attributed to higher seasonal food prices, especially for fresh vegetables which rose at their fastest rate during the month of May since 1966.

The month-on-month increase was 8.3%. Fresh fruit and salad crops were all hit by wet weather during April.

  • Financial Times 17/06/98 page 12
  • The Guardian 17/06/98 page 21
  • The Daily Telegraph 17/06/98 page 1, page 27 (Editorial Comment), page 13, page 33
  • The Scotsman 17/06/98 page 23
  • The Independent 17/06/98 page 2
  • The Times 17/06/98 page 1, page 23, page 25 (Commentary), page 28