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    Its hard to get ‘price increases under control’, says Welsh supermarket boss

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    Food inflation costs are starting to slow but it could be hard to “get price increases under control”, the boss of a Welsh supermarket chain has said.

    Matthew Hunt, who runs independent Filco Supermarkets with nine stores across south Wales, said there was a “a road to go on this journey”.

    Hunt said there were “so many drivers” affecting food prices and it was “hard to see how we’re going to get price increases under control”.

    “Raw materials, energy, labour, taxation, interest rates, distribution costs – they all drive inflation,” he told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast. “And while one of those might be getting under control, for example distribution with fuel, the others do seem to be rampant.”

    Hunt has told BBC Wales that his company was not passing on the full cost increases to customers but “squeezing how we operate”.

    Latest figures showed food inflation was at 19.1 per cent in the year to April. Rising food inflation is also pointed out as one of the main factors driving inflation in the country. The government reportedly is considering measures to tackle rising food prices like voluntary cap of basic food cost, though the idea has received a lukewarm response from the industry.

    Hunt’s statement closely follows Tesco boss Ken Murphy’s declaration that food inflation has probably peaked, not implying prices overall would drop down, but just that they would rise more slowly.

    Murphy said the price of milk, bread, cooking oil and some vegetables such as broccoli had come down this month but inflation continued in other essentials, including rice and potatoes, as weather issues and locked-in increases in the price of labour and energy continued to bite.

    Murphy urged the government to help tackle inflation by easing regulations linked to Brexit, which he said had had a “meaningful impact” on the cost of importing groceries into the UK from the EU and from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

    He also called on ministers to consider easing business rates.

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