May 24, 2023
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UK inflation eases further but clothing prices still rising

May 24, 2023

UK inflation — including clothing prices — slowed again in April, although the rate remains high and prices continue to rise. 

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The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday showed the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rising by 7.8% year on year, lower than the 8.9% rise in March

And the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 8.7%, down from 10.1% in March.

The big contributors to higher prices were food and drink sales that stayed stubbornly high — they were up 19.1%, compared to a 19.2% rise in March. Given earlier increases in this category, it clearly remains a major problem for the UK government and for consumers trying to juggle their finances.

Clothing and footwear price rises were nowhere near that level, but they remained high compared to just a few years ago, with a 6.8% increase in April compared to a 7.2% increase in March. Retailers are continuing to pass on cost increases to their customers, although the relatively mild rate of inflation against other areas of the economy suggests that they’re also absorbing some of those cost increases.

Good news is that the rampant inflation in energy prices is easing, which will help both business and consumers. But even with the slowdown in overall inflation rates that this is creating, consumers will remain under pressure this year.

And the ongoing double-digit increases in food inflation mean those consumers are likely to continue prioritising the purchase of essentials over discretionary items such as fashion.

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