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Four in 10 Britons buy less food due to cost of living

(Aaron Chown/PA)
(Aaron Chown/PA)

Around four in 10 people have said they bought less food during the past two weeks due to the rising cost of living.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 39% of adults said they trimmed 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 over pressure on household finances.

Adults reporting buying less when food shopping
(PA Graphics)

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

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

Earlier this week, data from Kantar showed that grocery price inflation hit 5.9% in April – an 11-year high.

Overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation jumped to 7% last month, and analysts have predicted it could have hit more than 8% in April due to the impact of higher energy bills this month.

Around 40% of people who pay energy bills said they “found it very or somewhat difficult to afford them” in the survey.

The proportion of adults who think they will not be able to save any money in the next 12 months has also increased.

The ONS said 42% of people said they were unable to save, up from 34% in November.

The data also highlighted an increased difficulty for people to buy fuel over the past two weeks.

Around 20% of people said they were “unable to buy fuel” – a sharp increase from 8% earlier this month.

The number of people struggling with food and medicine product shortages remained flat for the latest two-week period.

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