January 3, 2017 / 1:33 PM / 7 months ago

UK grocery prices up in December but still below 2015-report

2 Min Read

LONDON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - UK grocery prices rose slightly from November to December, according to data from tracking website mySupermarket.com, but prices remained lower than the previous year due to competition that has limited the impact of Brexit-related cost inflation.

A basket of 35 commonly bought grocery items cost 83.33 pounds ($102.4) in December, mySupermarket.com said on Tuesday, up from 83.18 in November. The rise was driven by higher prices for fresh items such as bananas, grapes and carrots, it said.

Overall, the basket was still nearly 3 percent cheaper than it was in December 2015, the company said, as big retailers such as Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's battle for shoppers.

Economists and retail experts expect inflation to creep into the UK market after last year's vote to leave the European Union caused a steep drop in the value of the British currency, making imported goods more expensive.

"Despite a rise in December, our Groceries Tracker Basket costs less in December compared to January and shows how the highly competitive price wars between retailers has helped protect shoppers from any subsequent rises caused by current affairs," said mySupermarket CEO Gilad Simhony in a statement.

The tracker covers nearly 5,000 products across supermarkets Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Sainsbury's, Ocado, Lidl and Morrisons. ($1 = 0.8141 pounds)

Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Susan Thomas

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