ONS: Inflation rises in UK as recreation and culture prices climb

The Office for National Statistics has today announced that UK inflation rose by 0.7 per cent for the 12 months to January.

The organisation announced this morning (17 February), that product prices across the UK had risen by 0.7 per cent over the past year, compared with 0.6 per cent for the 12 months to December.

The report suggested that the increase was due to the closure of non-essential stores as coronavirus restrictions tightened once more.

Recreation and culture were the largest contributors to the increase in inflation, with prices also rising for furniture, restaurants and transport.

Sectors that saw prices fall included clothing and footwear.

ONS commented: “There were notable increases in the contributions to the 12-month inflation rate from four broad groups between December 2020 and January 2021.

“The largest increase was to the furniture, household equipment and routine maintenance group, where the contribution increased from a downward contribution to the 12-month inflation rate of 0.03 percentage points in December 2020 to an upward contribution of 0.05 percentage points in January 2021.

“There were further large increases in the contributions to the 12 month inflation rate from restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport.

“Throughout 2020, we have seen clothing and footwear prices follow a different pattern compared with previous years.

“We recorded increased discounting during March and April 2020, probably in response to the lockdown, then prices were relatively stable (compared with previous years) to August 2020.

“Between August and October 2020, prices broadly increased as usual, but this has been followed by a fall between October and November 2020, because of notable sales in November as many areas went into lockdown.

“Despite clothing prices rising slightly in December 2020, prices fell by 4.6 per cent between December 2020 and January 2021 as a result of increased discounting.”

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