Whisky and vodka see double-digit price hike
Spirit prices have rebounded sharply after the Christmas sales, with whisky and vodka showing a double-digit hike in January, according to the latest Consumer Price Index released by the Office for National Statistics.
Prices for European white wine and New World white and red wine also increased.
Spirits prices were up 13.7% in January 2013, compared to 6.8% in January 2012. Wine prices were up 7.4%, compared to 3.9% in the same month last year.
The report said: “Almost all of the upward pressure came from alcoholic drinks with prices recovering after Christmas sales.”
The ONS said spirits “prices overall rose this year by more than a year ago, particularly for whisky and vodka”, while the main upward contributions for wine came from “European white wine and New World white and red wine”.
Over the 12 months from January to January, spirits prices have increased 9.5%, while wine was up 4%.
Tim Wilson, managing director of the Wilson Drinks Report, said: “The overall rate of inflation was expected to come down a bit this month. But inflation jumped dramatically in all the main alcohol categories, and the ONS singled out alcohol as the main upward inflationary pressure this month, together with air fares.
“Both retailers and drinks producers are facing very tough trading conditions at the moment, with a combination of rising costs and falling consumer demand. It will be interesting to see if Chancellor Osborne will take any notice of this in the Budget next month when setting duty levels on alcohol.”
In its latest report, the ONS said the largest upward pressures came from alcohol and air fares. Alcohol and tobacco prices rose 4.3% between December 2012 and January 2013, compared with a smaller rise of 1.9% a year earlier. This contributed approximately 0.1 percentage points to the change in the CPI 12-month rate.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual inflation grew by 2.7% in January 2013, unchanged for the fourth month in a row. This is the longest period for which the CPI growth has remained unchanged.