Britain has the highest food and energy inflation in western Europe as UK households are struggling with their biggest squeeze on living standards at a time of austerity.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), food and energy prices in Britain are rising faster than anywhere else in Europe. The UK's inflation rate for food was 4.6 percent in April, compared to the same month last year. This compares with 3.7 percent in Germany and 1.6 per cent in France. Energy prices were also up 2.2 percent, more than four times the rate of increase in Germany. Inflation has remained above the Bank of England's 2 percent target since late 2009 as energy bills and food prices soar, the OECD reported. Earlier in May, a survey by consumer group Which? found that one in five British households were forced to borrow money or use savings in order to cover their food bills in April.