Inflation holds steady at 2.4% as petrol prices increase

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Inflation was unchanged in October as higher prices for utilities and petrol were offset by a slide in food and clothing costs.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) held steady at 2.4% in October. Economists had been expecting inflation to rise to 2.5%.

The ONS' head of inflation Michael Hardie said: "Prices paid by consumers continued to rise at a steady rate with falls in food and clothing offset by rising utility bills and petrol, as crude prices continued to rise.

"House price growth ticked up a little as increases in Wales, Scotland and the midlands were to some extent offset by falls in central London."

 

Increase in utilities and petrol prices

Food price growth cooled off following rapid inflation this time last year, continuing a trend seen in September.

Prices for oils and fats dropped compared to the previous month, while milk, cheese and eggs were also down in price.

 

 

Overall food and non-alcoholic drink prices declined by 0.2% in October.

Clothing and footwear also put downward pressure on the overall rate, dipping by 0.5%. Footwear in particular weighed on the sector with a monthly decline of 1.3%.

However, consumers' wallets were hit by higher utilities and petrol costs. Households have faced a 2% jump in gas and electricity prices, while at the pumps motorists were facing higher costs for petrol with prices being at their highest level in almost four years.

Economists had expected utilities to drive inflation, after price increases last month from utilities firms British Gas and Scottish Power in the latest round of tariff hikes.