The price of bread around the world went up last year and is set to continue rising, despite the global financial downturn, according to new research.

Figures from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) show bread was up an average of 4.3% in price worldwide in the year to September 2009, and 6.5% in London.

EIU food and drink analyst Jon Copestake predicted that prices would continue on a stable upward price trend worldwide in 2010 and 2011. Price rises this year reflected the commodity price increases on utilities and raw ingredients in 2008, he said. There was likely to have been a delay in passing on costs from supplier to customer.

"The fact that commodity prices are forecast to remain stable in 2010 and 2011 means the under-lying price of bread should not be heavily affected in the coming year," he said. But retailers could bring prices down if competition to attract belt-tightening consu-mers heats up, he added.

The latest EIU report shows bread cost an average of £1.85/kg in London last year, up 11p year-on-year. But London remained one of the cheapest cities to buy bread, 74th on price out of 133 cities visited by mystery shoppers. Manchester was in 98th place, with an average kilo costing £1.33.

Paris became the most expensive city for bread in the world, with prices rising 26% year-on-year, to average £5.63/kg.

The EIU’s twice-annual World-wide Cost of Living survey checks three types of outlet cut price (eg Lidl), mid-range (eg Tesco) and top-end (eg Selfridges). Prices of 160 items from food and clothing to transport and utility bills are gathered.

The EIU calculates the price of a kilo of bread, which favours the UK where 800g loaves are common.