Inflation: Food and furniture costs drive inflation higher

Inflation: Food and furniture costs drive inflation higher

Prices rose in the UK last month, pushed up by higher food prices and more expensive household goods, official figures suggest.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, rose 0.7% in the 12 months to January, up from December’s 0.6%, the Office for National Statistics said.

The rise was bigger than many economists’ forecasts.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks were a major reason for higher inflation.

They pushed up prices by 0.6%, compared with a fall of 0.1% last time. Premium potato crisps and cauliflowers saw big increases after being discounted in December, the ONS said.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the ONS, said household goods prices were also higher because there had been less discounting on items such as bedding or sofas.

But Mr Athow pointed out that January discounting had continued in some form: “However, there were widespread January sales, with particular price cuts for clothing and footwear.”

Statisticians said that clothes prices are typically discounted in December and January for festive shoppers, with a 4.6% fall in costs between December and January.

Another large contributor to rising costs was restaurants and hotels.

Prices in this category were estimated to have risen by 0.9%, largely driven by hotels. Amid the current lockdown restrictions, holiday travel is not allowed in the UK.

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