Food prices saw the biggest increase for three years in the year to March, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.
Food and drink prices rose by 1.2% and overall consumer inflation remained at 2.3%. Meanwhile wage growth is expected to slow, leaving people worse off in real terms.
The figures come as British retailers suffer a third consecutive month of falling sales, with takings down 1% compared to March last year.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Susan Kramer commented:
"The Brexit squeeze of a falling pound and rising import costs is hitting families across Britain, with higher prices in the shops denting incomes and leaving us all poorer.
This is deeply worrying news for our economy, which has been propped up by consumer spending.
The Government must urgently act to reverse this growing squeeze on living standards. The best way to protect British consumers and businesses would be to change course on Brexit and fight to stay in the Single Market.
If Theresa May chooses to plough ahead with a hard Brexit, our declining living standards will be on her watch and her head. You can't have a hard Brexit and a strong economy."