Live: Mortgage rates still rising – as top savings accounts revealed amid 40-year high inflation – Sky News

Cost of living latest as mortgage rates being offered by lenders continue to rise – and inflation figures hit double figures again.
We’ll be back on Thursday with more economy and cost of living news.
Meantime, here’s what you need to know:
With homeowners facing rising energy costs, Britons are looking for ways to save money on their gas and electricity bills. 
Here, we take a look at five eco-friendly gadgets that could help save householders some money, courtesy of the insurance provider SO-SURE
Glass kettles
With data from the Energy Saving Trust showing the average Briton uses their kettle four times a day, one way to cut down on costs is to find a kettle that encourages you to save money.
With a 66% increase in energy efficiency over typical kettles, the Russell Hobbs illuminating glass kettle has a one-cup setting so you only boil the amount of water needed.
Switching to the energy-saving kettle could save you around £25 a year.
Air fryers
There has been a massive rise in the use of air fryers in recent years as more people try to find healthier ways to cook their food.
For those looking for more energy-efficient ways to cook, an air fryer can also be a lot cheaper to run than an oven. 
As an example, the total energy cost of cooking chips will cost approximately 15p in an air fryer and 35p in a fan-assisted oven.
This means you could be saving around £146 a year.
Use a more efficient shower
With figures showing the average Briton uses 50 litres of water per shower, an eco-friendly shower could be a better option.
The Methven Aurajet RUA shower handset is one of the most water-efficient shower heads on the market and its design means that you still get the full-bodied spray of a conventional shower, while using nearly 40% less water per shower.
This could mean savings of up to £87.60 a year on the average water bill.
Electric blankets
Looking for ways to stay warm amid the winter is a pressing issue for many.
According to Ofgem, one kWh of electricity now costs approximately 52p. 
On the other hand, an electric blanket, such as the 150W dreamland anti-bacterial heated under blanket, costs as little as 7.8p to run at full power for an hour
It costs a medium household approximately £609 a year to power central heating, so even if you were to use an electric blanket for four hours a day during the winter, you would only spend £297.60 per year.
Hive smart thermostats
Having a Hive smart thermometer will allow you to turn the heating on remotely.
The device will also know when you have gone out, automatically turning off to save money.
Homeowners can save up to 31% on heating using a smart thermostat, which means average savings of around £190 a year. 
Nestle has reported its strongest growth in sales in 14 years today.
The maker of Nescafe and KitKat said organic sales rose by 8.5% in the first nine months of this year – the highest nine-month rise since 2008.
Shares in Nestle were up 0.2% in mid-morning trade.
“We delivered strong organic growth as we continued to adjust prices responsibly to reflect inflation,” the company’s chief executive Mark Schneider said.
Despite the strong sales, some analysts are worried price rises
could soon push consumers too far, potentially pricing some of its products out of their reach amid a cost of living crisis that is seeing sales volumes across the industry decline.
And Mr Schneider has also raised concerns about the “challenging” economic environment, which he said was hurting the purchasing power of many customers.
A study has found that over 80% of Britons are planning to ride out any potential recession with their current employer despite nearly half of them wanting to change jobs.
Analysis by the people analytics company Visier found that while 46% of people in the country would like to move to another job, 81% will remain with their current employer amid financial fears. 
When asked about their decision to keep their current job, 57% voiced concerns over job security in a new role while 42% said  having to settle for a lower salary had influenced their decision.
Meanwhile, 67% said they still feared the old saying “last hired, first fired” was true when it came to switching roles. 
Of those employees planning to ride out the recession in their current job role, 30% said that they were more likely to “quietly quit” their job during a recession. 
Quiet quitting was defined in the context of this study as not quitting your job, but quitting the idea of going above and beyond in the role.
The impact of soaring inflation and the cost of living crisis has had “probably a more profound” impact on John Lewis than the COVID pandemic, the retailer’s chair has said.
During an interview at Bloomberg’s equality summit, Dame Sharon White said the high staff levels at the company meant inflation had returned the business “back to the 1970s”, The Telegraph reports.
She said: “When margins start to decline, it hits us harder.
“The context in which we find ourselves takes us back to the 1970s.”
The John Lewis Partnership employs around 80,000 workers, making it one of the UK’s largest employee owned business
The chair added: “No one could have predicted the scale of the cost of living crisis that has materialised, with energy prices and inflation rising ahead of anyone’s expectations.
“As a business, we have faced unprecedented cost inflation across grocery and general merchandise.”
Earlier this year, John Lewis, which also comprises of the Waitrose supermarket chain, warned staff that annual bonuses were at risk after it reported a £99m loss for the first half of the year amid the “unprecedented cost inflation”.
By Sky News Data and Forensics Unit
Food and drink prices are increasing at the fastest pace since April 1980, according to the latest official data from the Office for National Statistics.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 14.6% over the year to September 2022, increasing again for the 14th consecutive month.
Why is the weekly shop increasing in price so quickly?
The main reason is that rising transport and packaging costs are making imports more expensive.
Prices of food coming from inside and outside the EU are increasing twice as quickly as what we produce domestically, rising more than a third over the last year.
Edward Valesco, import manager at Rodanto, a global grower, importer and distributor of fresh fruit and vegetables, says that global inflation pressures, largely from the war in Ukraine, are driving up the cost of fuel and plastic, which is used in packaging.
Imports are more exposed to these price rises as it takes longer to get them from farm to shop.
But Valesco says “we’ve not seen the worst of it” yet, predicting that annual import inflation could hit 45% in the coming months.
“The prices that you’re currently seeing on the shelf are still predominantly for UK produce,” he says.
“It certainly will be a lot worse in about six weeks, around the Christmas period, as produce is now going to start to be imported over the coming weeks.”
Almost half of UK businesses in the food and beverage industry reported that transportation costs increased the difficulty of importing.
These factors are pushing up prices around the world, but the UK is more exposed than most as it imports so much food.
Almost all the fish and more than 90% of the maize products on supermarket shelves in the UK are imported, far more than in the EU or the US.
Read more here…
Many disabled people “are on the brink of freezing and starving in their own homes” and the government “must not” abandon them at this critical time, the disability charity Scope has warned.
As the country grapples with rising costs amid a volatile financial market and with the rate of inflation rising to 10.1% in September, a new study from the disability charity Scope has found that 63% of disabled people fear they will not be able to heat their homes this winter.
The survey of 1,000 disabled adults also found that 51%  felt concerned about affording food and 60% said the government was ignoring them.
Those who expressed concern about affording heating this winter said the consequences could be devastating, with 40% saying they would be uncomfortable or in pain and 31% stating it would severely affect their health.
James Taylor, director of strategy at disability equality charity Scope, said: “Life costs a lot more when you’re disabled, so the impact of spiralling inflation hits disabled people much harder.
“If the government fails to keep its promise to increase benefits in line with true inflation, it will be disastrous for families who are already pushed to breaking point.
“We’re hearing from disabled people whose lives are at risk because they can’t afford the heating and energy they need for life-saving essentials.”
One in 10 students have thought about shoplifting to get by during the cost of living crisis, new research has found.
A study of 1,321 university students found those from low-income families (those who were eligible for free school meals) are twice as likely to drop out because of money worries.
The percentage considering shoplifting rises to 17% among low-income students. 
However, just 3% of those surveyed said they have actually resorted to stealing food to get by.
It comes as figures found the average cost of rent for students is 42% more than the average student finance payout.
“Students are consistently left out of decisions made by the government and it’s time they acknowledge that students need better support,” said Student Beans’ chief strategy officer, Will Harris. 
“Bodies like student finance allocated their means-tested handouts earlier in the year, unable to predict the true crisis students are currently facing. The government has a responsibility to support our young people, just as they are trying to support other vulnerable groups in the UK.
“With students needing to make their September student loan drop last until January, a Cost of Living Payment would give those in difficult circumstances access to much-needed financial support during the tough winter months.”
More people aged 50 or older will come out of retirement in an effort to bolster their pensions due to the cost of living crisis, the independent financial adviser My Pension Expert has warned.
Earlier this year, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found more people in their 50s and above were returning to the workplace amid spiralling inflation, surging costs and an uncertain financial market.
Its analysis showed that 116,000 workers aged over 50 were either back in work or looking for work in the past year.
Now, Andrew Megson, CEO of My Pension Expert, has said “financial preparedness” was driving people to adapt their plans to the current economic climate.
“For one, the trend of more people in their 50s and 60s coming out of retirement to bolster their pension savings amid the cost of living crisis is expected to continue,” he said.
He went on to say that the past 24 hours, which saw the government say it was no longer committed to triple lock pensions, had “served up two cruel blows to people’s personal finances”. 
He said: “These are extremely challenging times. Inflation is at eye-watering levels, interest rates are going up and up, and the government is making us all dizzy with the number of U-turns it is performing. 
“Liz Truss’s potential abandonment of the triple lock just two weeks after saying she was ‘committed’ to it will be a slap around the faces of all those with a state pension.”
As the largest hike in food prices for over 40 years drives inflation back to double digits, new research has emerged that over 33.4 million Britons are cutting back on fresh fruit and vegetables because of the rising cost of living.

Researched conduced by Meatless Farm has revealed that 62% of shoppers are now buying less fruit and vegetables and instead resorting to lower quality food to get by.  
The study of 2,000 adults also found that 80% of people have been forced to make changes to how they shop and eat while  44% are worried about how they will afford to eat healthily.
And despite being a popular fruit among millennials, 20% of people in this age group are now ditching it.
Meanwhile, 32% of people have admitted they fill up on pasta and rice instead of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Morten Toft Bech, founder of Meatless Farm, said: “Cutting down on fruit and veg and replacing this with carbohydrates and cheaper quality meat is not a viable option for the future of our nation’s health, and the findings in this study are concerning for both the nutrition of our nation and the environment.”
Here are the top 10 fruit and vegetables Britons are cutting back on:
1. Exotic fruits (grapes, melon, pineapple, mango)
2. Avocados 
3. Berries 
4. Grapefruit 
5. Fresh herbs
6. Peaches / nectarines 
7. Sweet potatoes
8. Bananas 
9. Apples 
10. Peppers 
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