Despite rocketing input costs in the second half of last year, the retail price of a loaf of bread in the UK actually fell in 2010 compared to 2009, according to new data from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The research on world bread prices, which is part of the EIU’s annual international Liveability Survey and was conducted in late August and early September, found that the average price of a kilo of supermarket bread in London fell from £1.60 in 2009 to £1.49 in 2010, while in Manchester it fell in price from 94p to 93p.

The drop in price was recorded just before bakers were hit by the worst of rising flour, utility and petrol prices towards the end of 2010. But John Ferguson, deputy economist at the EIU, told BB he expected supermarkets to resist big price increases for bread in 2011. "There is an acceptance that bread can be sold as a loss leader to encourage people to visit stores. There isn’t always a direct relationship between commodity price rises and retail prices when it comes to bread," he said.

The EIU survey uses mystery shoppers to check the price of loaves of bread in 140 cities around the world. Moscow was the most expensive place to buy supermarket bread last year with a kilo retailing for $12.31, while Paris was second at $10.90. London came 97th on the list.

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

>>UK bread prices stay low in world ranking