At PMQs Rishi Sunak made a claim abut inflation, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Although economists – and also the Bank of England – were expecting the consumer prices index to fall from 10.1% to 9.9%, the headline rate of inflation actually jumped to 10.4%, shocking many.
The cost of living rose more than expected last month as salad and vegetable shortages helped push up food prices at the fastest rate in 45 years.
The salad crisis, which resulted in empty shelves once occupied by tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, was highlighted by the ONS as the driving force behind the rise in fresh food costs.
It said: “The largest upward effect came from vegetables, where prices rose in the month to February 2023 by more than a year earlier.
There have been media reports of shortages of salad produce and other vegetables, reportedly because of bad weather in southern Europe and Africa, and the impact of higher electricity prices on produce grown out of season in greenhouses in the UK and northern Europe.”
Labour MP Emma Hardy tweeted: “Blimey. The PM seriously just told the House of Commons that he’s halving inflation on the day that inflation has gone up.”
Shadow Minister Alison McGovern also posted the figures, adding: “But don’t worry cause Rishi Sunak just told us at #pmqs he’s halving it.”