Belfast Telegraph

Price of Ulster Fry jumps for second year running

Bad news for those who indulge in a morning fry-up - but good news for healthy eaters as price of avocados drop in last 12 months. 

By Cate McCurry

The price of our beloved Ulster Fry has been sizzling over the last 12 months as food costs rise for the second year.

The cost of items making up the popular cooked breakfast have increased by 2.8% compared to last year because of a significant rise in food price inflation.

Ulster Bank's measure of food price inflation shows that prior to this, consumers had been benefiting from falling prices – the Ulster Fry Index fell by 9% in 2016 and 3% in 2015.

New figures show that of the main items in an Ulster fry, bacon and sausages were amongst the biggest risers, both up 3.8%, according to the latest Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

Meanwhile the price of butter was up almost 8%, and bread saw a price increase of 3.9%.

Ulster_Fry_Index.jpg

Not all items making up the Ulster Fry Index saw a price rise though - tomatoes, eggs and margarine all saw price falls in the past year. Margarine saw the biggest fall of all the items in the index at -5.1%.

Those who eat healthier breakfasts will be relieved to hear that smashed avocado is getting cheaper, down 1.9% in the past 12 months.

Looking at changes over time, despite the rise in the past 12 months, the Ulster Fry Index is still 7.2% lower than it was five years ago. Though it is 22% higher than 10 years ago.

And the Ulster Fry Index up 51% since the Good Friday Agreement was signed 20 years ago.

Richard Ramsey says that the Ulster Fry Index is a bit of fun but contains an important economic message.

“Food makes up a significant proportion of household spending," he said.

"Food and drink is also a key sector of the Northern Ireland economy. So, understanding how the price of food items is changing gives us some insight into both the current state of consumer finances, and also some of the challenges facing the agri-food industry,” Mr Ramsey says.

“There are a wide range of alternative indices around the world – from the Big Mac Index to the Cappuccino Index – which are intended to explain economics terms in a straightforward way and to shed new light on important economic issues.

"Ours is the Ulster Fry Index, and it hopefully gives the man or woman on the street a clearer idea of why their household finances currently are the way they are.

“Looking ahead, we only see the Ulster Fry Index going one way - up. Consumers are going to feel an increasing squeeze as the price of food rises in the months ahead,” he added.

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