Everything is officially more expensive - the lower measure of UK inflation hits 4.4%
If you have wondered aloud at the price of stuff recently, your flabbergastation* is well-founded. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just published official figures that show that the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 4.4% in July, up from 4.2% in June.
The ONS said the main contributors to inflation came from financial services, clothing and footwear, furniture, household equipment and housing rent.
Let's look at the evidence. Cumulative annual inflation on food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 6.2%. Specifically, bread and cereals prices rose 9.7%, meat prices rose 6.6%, and chocolate and confectionary rose 7.5%. Household energy bills rose 4.6%, so expect another increase next month, and transport costs rose 7.8%. Again, they hadn’t heard about the trains yet...
Even items already taxed to the hilt have been hit, with alcohol and tobacco rising by 10.3% and so-called non-essential** items like clothes and footwear by 3.1% – both of which represent the largest increases since records began in 1997.
With staple foods and essentials hit so hard, consumers are finding new ways to beat the price rises. In its breakdown of the grocery market, Kantar Worldpanel found that both Aldi and Lidl have increased their percentage share of the UK market, by 0.6% and 0.2% respectively, while Tesco and ASDA lost out to the tune of 0.5% and 0.3%. Sainsburys share remained static and Morrison’s share increased slightly by 0.1%. Waitrose, however, also gained 0.2%, although whether this is owing to it’s ‘essentials’ range, or posh people trying to avoid the plebs is unclear.
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure, which includes household costs such as mortgage interest and council tax, was unchanged at 5%.
*may not be an actual word.
** clothing is necessary for a great many people in the world- to protect the rest of our eyes.