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British alcohol prices soar in January

British drinkers paid 5.2% more for alcohol in January than in December, as booze led a rise in consumer inflation which was offset by falling food and fuel prices.

Beer prices grew by 3.6% in January (Photo: Flickr)

Prices for alcoholic drinks increased by 5.2% between December 2015 and January 2016, a higher rate than the same two months a year ago.

Beer and spirits were the main contributors to the rise. The price of spirits increased by 7.5% – 50% higher than last year’s rise – and beer by 3.6%. The price of wine went up 4.8% in the month.

Vodka led the growth in spirits prices due to the premiumisation of brands and ongoing political tensions in its largest producing regions, Eastern Europe and Russia.

It is usual for alcohol prices to rise again in the New Year after the festive period as Christmas deals and offers come to an end.

However, the rise is still is 2% higher than the same time last year, when drinks prices grew by 3.2%.

The overall Consumer Price Index, calculated by the Office for National Statistics, grew by only 0.3%, showing that sharp alcohol price rises were an exception.

The 0.3% rise is significantly below the government’s 2% target which signals a healthy economy that is neither too ‘hot’ or too ‘cold’.

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