The headline rate of inflation rose in May. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed that prices grew by 2.7% in the year to May 2013, up from 2.4% in the year to April. The inflation rate has returned to the levels seen between October 2012 and March 2013 after the slowing in the rate in April.
Rises in air fares and clothing prices were the largest contributors to the rise in inflation. Motor fuels also had an upward effect. Average petrol prices fell by 3.1 pence a litre on the month but they fell by a larger 4.5 pence a litre between April and May 2012. Similarly diesel prices fell by less between April and May 2013 than between the same two months a year earlier. There were comparatively modest upward contributions from three other sectors: furniture, household equipment & maintenance, alcohol & tobacco and recreation & culture.
The only notable, but relatively small, downward contribution came from the food & non-alcoholic drinks sector. The downward effects came from a variety of food categories (most notably sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate & confectionery, meat and vegetables) but these were partially counterbalanced by price rises from non-alcoholic drinks.
Taking a longer term view, the three main contributors to the 12-month inflation rate in the last five years have been food & non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels and transport (including motor fuels). Combined, these three sectors have, on average, accounted for over half of the 12-month inflation rate each month.
CPIH, the new measure of consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs, grew by 2.5% in the year to May 2013, up from 2.2% in April. The slower growth in CPIH than CPI is due principally to owner occupiers’ housing costs increasing more slowly than overall inflation for other consumer goods and services in the year to May.
Source: Office for National Statistics
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