The Governor of the Bank of England has warned of “apocalyptic” global food price rises and said he is “helpless” in the face of surging inflation as the economy is battered by the war in Ukraine according to The Telegram.
Andrew Bailey said he has “run out of horsemen” when counting the shocks facing Britain, with runaway energy and food costs driven by global market forces beyond his control.
Prices are rising at the fastest rate in 30 years, creating a “very big income shock” that is expected to intensify in the coming months with a risk of double-digit inflation before the end of the year.
Mr Bailey told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that he is increasingly concerned about a further surge in food costs if Ukraine, a major crop grower, is unable to ship wheat and cooking oils from its warehouses because of a Russian blockade.
The Governor said that he had spoken to Ukraine’s finance minister and added: “The [risk] I’m going to sound rather apocalyptic about I guess is food.
In a survey of 2,000 Britons conducted by Ipsos and Sky News, 89% said they were concerned about how the cost-of-living crisis would affect the country as a whole over the next six months, while 83% were concerned about their personal circumstances.
While the picture was broadly similar nationwide, those on lower wages were more acutely worried, with more than half of those earning under £20,000 ($25,000) describing themselves as “very concerned” about how they would make ends meet this year. That compares to two in five of those earning £55,000 or more.
A major British caterer said separately Tuesday that schools were now facing “difficult decisions” as to whether to reduce meal sizes or use lower quality ingredients amid surging prices.
The findings come after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said Monday that rising prices and food scarcity issues from the war in Ukraine were a real worry for Britain and many other parts of the world. “There’s a lot of uncertainty around this situation,” Bailey told the Treasury Committee at the House of Commons.