The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 5.5% in the 12 months to February 2022, up from 4.9% in the 12 months to January.
The largest upward contributions to the February 2022 CPIH 12-month inflation rate came from housing and household services (1.39 percentage points, principally from electricity, gas and other fuels, and owner occupiers’ housing costs) and transport (1.26 percentage points, principally from motor fuels and second-hand cars).
On a monthly basis, CPIH rose by 0.7% in February 2022, compared with a rise of 0.1% in February 2021.
The upward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between January and February 2022 were diverse, with the largest coming from a variety of recreational and cultural goods and services (principally games, toys and hobbies), and clothing and footwear.
There were no large offsetting downward contributions to change.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 6.2% in the 12 months to February 2022, up from 5.5% in January.
On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.8% in February 2022, compared with a rise of 0.1% in February 2021. This was the largest monthly CPI increase between January and February since 2009.
|CPIH Index |
|CPI 12- |
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Download this table Table 1: CPIH, OOH component and CPI index values, and 12-month and 1-month rates.xls .csv
The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 5.5% in the 12 months to February 2022, up from 4.9% to January. This is the highest recorded 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistic series which began in January 2006, and the highest rate since CPIH stood at 6.2% in March 1992 in the historic modelled estimates.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 6.2% in the 12 months to February 2022, up from 5.5% to January. This is the highest CPI 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistic series which began in January 1997, and the highest rate in the historic modelled series since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1%.
On a monthly basis, CPIH rose by 0.7% in February 2022, compared with a rise of 0.1% in the same month a year earlier. Price rises in recreation and culture, and furniture and household goods led to the largest upward contributions to the monthly rate in February 2022. In February 2021, the main upward contributions to the monthly rate came from transport, and furniture and household goods, partly offset by a downward contribution from clothing and footwear.
In February 2022 the CPI rose by 0.8% from the previous month, compared with a rise of 0.1% in the same month the previous year.
Given that the owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH) component accounts for around 17% of the CPIH, it is the main driver for differences between the CPIH and CPI inflation rates.
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Figure 2 shows the extent to which the different categories of goods and services have contributed to the overall Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate over the last two years.
Housing and household services
Housing and household services contributed 1.39 percentage points to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in February 2022, the largest contribution from any division this month, and the largest contribution from housing and household services since February 2009. The contribution is a little higher than in January 2022 and significantly above those observed from April to September 2021. This is a result of price rises for gas and electricity following the increase in the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) cap on energy prices, which changed on 1 October 2021.
The Ofgem energy price caps limit the price energy suppliers can charge the estimated 15 million households that either use a prepayment meter or are on the “standard variable” energy (or default) tariff. As the energy regulator, Ofgem updates the energy price caps twice a year, in April and October, to ensure that they reflect changes in the cost of supplying energy.
On 6 August 2021, Ofgem published the cap levels for the period from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. They reported that the price cap had increased by 12% since April 2021 because of “a rise of over 50% in energy costs over the last six months with gas prices hitting a record high as the world emerges from lockdown”. The rise resulted in 12-month inflation rates of 18.8% for electricity and 28.1% for gas in October 2021. These have since increased slightly to 19.2% and 28.3% respectively in February 2022.
Elsewhere within housing and household services, owner occupiers’ housing costs rose 2.5% in the year to February 2022 resulting in a contribution of 0.46 percentage points to the CPIH annual inflation rate, and actual rentals rose 2.3% on the year resulting in a contribution of 0.17 percentage points.
Over the last two years, the contribution from transport has ranged from a downward contribution of 0.20 percentage points in May 2020 during the first coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, to an upward contribution of 1.34 percentage points in November 2021. The contribution has since eased to 1.26 percentage points in February 2022, but it is still the second largest from any division this month.
Within transport, the movements have mainly been caused by changes in the price of motor fuels. This category made a downward contribution to the 12-month rate between March 2020 and February 2021, before the contribution turned positive in March 2021 and subsequently increased to 0.58 percentage points in November 2021. It has since eased back to 0.48 percentage points in February 2022.
Average petrol prices stood at 147.6 pence per litre in February 2022, compared with 120.2 pence per litre a year earlier. The February 2022 price is the highest recorded. The average price of diesel in February 2022, 151.7 pence per litre, was also the highest on record.
The contribution from second-hand cars has also changed significantly since the beginning of 2020, rising from a downward effect of 0.07 percentage points in January 2020 to an upward pull of 0.15 percentage points in October 2020. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there were reports of increased demand as people sought alternatives to public transport. From October 2020, the contribution to the 12-month rate gradually fell back to an upward 0.01 percentage points in April 2021. It then rose again to 0.36 percentage points in February 2022, the largest contribution from second-hand cars since the start of the National Statistic series in January 2006.
The movement from April 2021 comes amidst reports of increased demand, together with a global semiconductor shortage affecting the production of new cars and resulting in consumers turning to the used car market. Additionally, there have reportedly been concerns in the trade about the supply of second-hand cars because of a variety of factors. These include fewer one-year-old cars coming to the market because of a fall in new car registrations a year earlier, and the extensions of lease contracts and fewer part exchanges caused again by delays in new-car supply. The August 2021 prices economic analysis compares the growth in second-hand car prices in the UK with the euro area and United States.
The contributions from three of the other divisions were higher in February 2022 than at any other point since the start of the National Statistics series in January 2006. Clothing and footwear prices rose by 8.8% in the year to February 2022, resulting in a contribution of 0.54 percentage points to the all items 12-month rate. Prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance rose by 9.2% in the year to February, contributing 0.48 percentage points to the headline rate. Prices, overall, for the wide range of recreational and cultural goods and services rose by 4.7% to February, contributing 0.51 percentage points. Additionally, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 5.1% on the year, resulting in a contribution of 0.46 percentage points, the highest 12-month rate and contribution for this category since September 2011.Back to table of contents
Figure 4 shows how each of the main groups of goods and services contributed to the change in the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate between January and February 2022. The corresponding figures for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) can be found in Column F of Table 26 in the Consumer price inflation dataset.
The rise in the CPIH annual rate for February 2022 was driven by upward contributions to change from 10 of the 12 divisions, with the largest coming from recreation and culture, and clothing and footwear. There were no offsetting downward contributions to change at divisional level.
Recreation and culture
The largest upward contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate came from recreation and culture, increasing the rate by 0.19 percentage points between January and February 2022. The majority of the upward contribution came from games, toys and hobbies where prices, overall, rose by 2.5% between January and February 2022, compared with a fall of 4.7% between the same two months a year ago. Prices for these goods have fallen between January and February in recent years following price rises between December and January. This year, however, we saw a price fall into January followed by a rise in February. The movements this year reflect price changes for a range of toys and games including both computer games and more traditional toys. Price movements for computer games can sometimes be large, in part depending on the composition of bestseller charts so that short-term movements need to be interpreted with caution.
A smaller upward contribution came from recording media where prices of DVDs rose this year but fell a year ago. Again, price movements for these can be influenced by the contents of bestseller charts. There were also small upward contributions from sporting equipment (such as golf balls and tennis or squash racquets) and pet food.
Clothing and footwear
There was a large upward contribution of 0.13 percentage points to the change in the rate from clothing and footwear. This has been caused principally by unusual price movements between January and February last year. Normally, prices rise between January and February as new stock starts to enter the shops following the new year sales period. However, in 2021, as shown in figure 4, prices fell by 1.5%. At that time, prices were not following standard seasonal patterns and the fall into February was similar to what happened in previous coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown periods in spring and November 2020. In 2022, prices rose by 0.8% between January and February, slightly smaller than the normal rise, which ranged from 0.9% to 1.7% in the five years from 2016 to 2020.
The price movements reflect the incidence of discounting observed in the monthly price collection. This was higher than usual for the time of year in the January to March 2021 lockdown and, in particular, rose between January and February. Normally, the proportion of discounting falls between these months. In January 2022, the amount of discounting was less than usual for January but the proportion has fallen into February.
Furniture and household goods
Rising prices for furniture and household goods led to an increase of 0.07 percentage points in the overall CPIH 12-month inflation rate in February 2022. Prices rose by 2.2% on the month, compared with a smaller rise of 1.5% a year earlier. The effect was largely from furniture and furnishings (0.03 percentage points).
Food and non-alcoholic beverages
Food and non-alcoholic beverages provided an upward contribution of 0.07 percentage points as prices rose by 0.9% this year, compared with a rise of 0.3% a year ago. The rise this year is the largest observed for a January to February movement since 2012. There were small upward contributions from 7 of the 11 detailed classes, with the largest coming from mineral waters, soft drinks and juices; meat; and sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery.
Restaurants and hotels
Price changes in the restaurants and hotels division increased the CPIH 12-month inflation rate by 0.04 percentage points. This was driven by accommodation services, which contributed 0.03 percentage points to the change.
It should be noted, however, that many items within this division were unavailable in February 2021 because of lockdowns that were in place across the UK. Unavailable items were imputed as described in Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices. This means that monthly movements in the previous year reflect imputed index movements, and should therefore be interpreted with caution.
For items that were unavailable in line with government guidelines in the early part of 2021, there were no January base prices. As these items became available again, base prices were imputed in line with the procedures described in Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021.
For the first month in which they became available again, item indices were imputed using either the monthly movement in the all-available-items index or, for a smaller number of seasonal items, the annual movement in the all-available-items index. The aim was that the indices for returning items had a negligible impact on the all-items inflation rate in the first month of return, reflecting the fact that these services were available only as price levels and did not have price growth associated with them (relative to the January base). Collected prices then started to influence the index in the following month.
Restrictions began easing from 12 April 2021 and, since August 2021, there are no items across the CPIH basket of goods and services that are unavailable to consumers.
However, the 12-month rate depends on prices collected in both 2022 and 2021. In February 2021, national restrictions were in place across the UK resulting in 69 CPIH items being unavailable to UK consumers. The list of unavailable items is shown in Table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset.
A number of items affected by lockdown restrictions last year have made a contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between January and February 2022. These items were imputed in January and February 2021 to reflect that they were unavailable for consumption (for more information please refer to the article Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices). Contributions to change from these items are generally small (less than or equal to 0.02 percentage points in magnitude). In aggregate, their effect was to increase the CPIH 12-month inflation rate by 0.04 percentage points between January and February 2022, and to increase the CPI rate by 0.06 percentage points. The contribution to the 12-month inflation rate in February 2022 for these items was 0.51 percentage points in CPIH and 0.60 percentage points in CPI.Back to table of contents
Figure 5 shows the contribution of owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH) and Council Tax to the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate in the context of wider housing-related costs. In February 2022, the contribution of housing and household services to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate was 1.39 percentage points, an increase of 0.02 percentage points from January.
There have been only relatively small changes to the contributions from individual components between January and February 2022. This follows larger changes to gas and electricity prices in October when the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem’s) change to the price cap (introduced on 1 October 2021) came into effect.
OOH’s contribution to the CPIH annual inflation rate increased slightly from 0.45 to 0.46 percentage points between January and February 2022, increasing the annual rate by 0.01 percentage points. The contribution to the annual rate from Council Tax remained at 0.13 percentage points, and therefore made no contribution to the change.
The large contribution from electricity, gas and other fuels of 0.60 percentage points in February 2022 makes this group the largest current contributor within housing and household services. From July 2019 to September 2021, OOH was the largest upward contributor to the annual rate in the division.Back to table of contents
Consumer price inflation tables
Dataset | Released 23 March 2022
Measures of monthly UK inflation data including the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI). These tables complement the consumer price inflation time series dataset.
Consumer price inflation time series
Dataset | Dataset ID: MM23 | Released 23 March 2022
Comprehensive database of time series covering measures of inflation data for the UK including the CPIH, CPI and RPI.
Consumer price inflation detailed briefing note
Dataset | Released 23 March 2022
Background briefing to the statistical bulletin.
Consumer price inflation
Consumer price inflation is the rate at which the prices of goods and services bought by households rise or fall. It is estimated by using price indices. Consumer price indices, a brief guide gives an overview of the indices and their uses.
12-month inflation rate
The most common approach to measuring inflation is the 12-month or annual inflation rate, which compares prices for the latest month with the same month a year ago. In any given month, the 12-month rate is determined by the balance between upward and downward price movements of the range of goods and services included in the index.
Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH)
CPIH is the most comprehensive measure of inflation. It extends the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to include a measure of the costs associated with owning, maintaining and living in one’s own home, known as owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH), along with Council Tax. Both are significant expenses for many households and are not included in the CPI.
Consumer Prices Index (CPI)
The CPI is a measure of consumer price inflation produced to international standards and in line with European regulations. The CPI is the inflation measure used in the government’s target for inflation.
Retail Prices Index (RPI)
RPI does not meet the required standard for designation as a National Statistic. In recognition that it continues to be widely used in contracts, we continue to publish the RPI, its subcomponents and RPI excluding mortgage interest payments (RPIX). To view the all-items RPI and 12-month inflation rate, please see the data time series section of the inflation and price indices area of our website.
The UK Statistics Authority and HM Treasury launched a consultation in 2020 on the authority’s proposal to address the shortcomings of the RPI. From 2030 (at the earliest), as outlined in the response to the consultation, the CPIH methods and data sources will be introduced into the RPI, and the supplementary and lower-level indices of the RPI will be discontinued.Back to table of contents
Personal inflation calculator
To assist individuals in understanding how the rise in inflation affects their expenditure, we have published a personal inflation calculator. It enables consumers to enter the amounts they spend against different categories, and the calculator will provide an estimate of their personal inflation based on those spending patterns. We are also working with our colleagues in the Office for National Statistics Data Science Campus to create a set of statistics using web scraped data, which will measure the changing prices of 30 essential grocery items, such as pasta, rice, bread and milk.
Treatment of the upcoming energy bill rebate
On 3 February 2022, the UK Government announced an Energy Bills Rebate package to help households to manage rising energy bills. The details of the rebate are described below.
- “A £200 discount on their energy bill this Autumn for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain. This will be paid back automatically over the next 5 years.
- A £150 non-repayable Council Tax Rebate payment for all households that are liable for Council Tax in Bands A-D in England.
- £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax Rebate.
- The devolved administrations are receiving around £715 million funding through the Barnett formula as usual where UK Government support doesn’t cover Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.”
Decisions on whether to include rebates, subsidies and discounts in our consumer price inflation statistics are not clear cut and are taken on a case-by-case basis. We aim to be consistent with the National Accounts, the Public Sector Finances, and other economic statistics. Decisions are based on international statistical guidance and practical considerations. More information on this is provided in section 9.2 of our Consumer Price Indices Technical Manual.
The formal Economic Statistics Classification decision on the recording of the Council Tax rebate scheme in England (the second component of the rebate) in the National Accounts and the Public Sector Finances statistics was announced on 28 February 2022 in Classification of the Council Tax rebate in England. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) concluded that there is no reduction to Council Tax liability, and in accordance with the international guidance, the Council Tax rebate in England should therefore be classified as a payable tax credit, specifically a current transfer, paid by central government to households. The implication of this decision for consumer price inflation is that the rebate is not part of household expenditure and should therefore be treated as out of scope of the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) and Retail Prices Index (RPI). Council Tax is not included in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
The available information from the devolved administrations is that the support package in Wales mirrors that in England, and a similar approach will be taken in Scotland (though fewer details are available). At present, there appear to be no plans in Northern Ireland to apply the rebate to the rates bill in April 2022. We will continue to monitor the situation but based on current evidence, any rebate from the devolved administrations (fourth component of the rebate) will not affect the CPIH and RPI.
The third component - discretionary funding to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax rebate - is out of scope, as the support is by definition discretionary. It does not represent a payment for a good or service and, as such, has no price associated with it.
The Economic Statistics Classification assessment for the first component of the package, which is the proposed £200 discount on Autumn 2022 domestic energy bills, will be made when more information becomes available. Once the classification decision has been made, we will consider whether it affects consumer price inflation statistics (CPIH, CPI and RPI) and, if so, how the treatment can be consistently incorporated into those statistics.
Weights for consumer price inflation statistics in 2022
In line with usual practice at the start of each year, the expenditure weights used in compiling the CPIH and CPI have been calculated using updated spending information. Normally this would be national accounts Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) data lagged by 2 years. However, in 2021 we made further adjustments to incorporate some of the larger changes in spending patterns seen between 2019 and 2020. More information is provided in the article, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021. This approach was consistent with international guidance (PDF, 135KB), which stipulated that “the expenditure shares used for the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in year t should be representative of year t-1. This is in line with the overall Laspeyres philosophy of the HICP”.
For this year’s weights update we have adopted a similar approach. We estimated a 2021 dataset by taking the most up to date HFCE data available (quarters 1 to 3, second estimate) and imputing the fourth quarter based on the 2019 seasonal growth. We used the same threshold as in the previous year (25%) to identify Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) classes where there were large changes in spending levels between 2020 and 2021. For these classes, we replaced the usual 2020 data with the 2021 estimate. Also this year, we gave consideration to classes below the threshold that tended to contain a larger number of basket items that were unavailable because of coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns (see Table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset). Our approach is consistent with the latest international guidance.
The COICOP classes that have been adjusted were detailed in the article, Consumer price inflation, updating weights: 2022, alongside an explanation of the latest movements. As with last year, we have made no changes to the weighting scheme for the RPI.
Economic statistics governance after EU exit
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, new governance arrangements are being put in place that will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics. These governance arrangements will promote international comparability and add to the credibility and independence of the UK’s statistical system.
At the centre of this new governance framework will be the new National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE). NSCASE will support the UK by ensuring its processes for influencing and adopting international statistical standards are world leading. The advice NSCASE provides to the National Statistician will span the full range of domains in economic statistics, including the National Accounts, fiscal statistics, prices, trade and the balance of payments and labour market statistics.
Making our published spreadsheets accessible
We have published sample versions of a selection of consumer price inflation tables prepared following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets. It is essential that we aim to improve the usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics so that everyone can make use of them. We have published these one-off sample tables to help communicate the changes we will be making to the consumer price inflation tables over the coming months. When we change to the new format, there will be a period where we will publish the tables in both the new and the current formats, along with a mapper to help users to find the information they require in the new format tables. If you have any questions or comments on these sample tables, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been challenges around our collection activities, as approximately 80% of the price quotes (45% by weight) for the CPIH basket are usually physically collected in stores across 141 locations in the UK. In April 2021, for example, we were unable to collect prices in store. However, we resumed in-store collections from May 2021 following the approach detailed in Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection. For February 2022, our price collectors were able to complete full collections in 106 of the locations with partial collections in the other 35, supplementing the latter by continuing to collect prices over the internet, by phone and by email.
The approach for resuming in-store collections was consistent with Eurostat advice, published in their Guidance note on Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) issues emerging from the lifting of lockdown measures (PDF, 388KB).
Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices describes the approach taken for imputing price movements for items that were unavailable for consumers to purchase.
The consumer price indices are normally based on prices collected from outlets around the country, supplemented by information collected centrally over the internet and by phone. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we collected all prices centrally in April 2021, but our price collectors have resumed in-store collections from May 2021.
The figures in this publication use data collected on or around 15 February 2022.
Consumer price indices, a brief guide gives an overview of consumer price statistics, while the Consumer Prices Indices Technical Manual covers the concepts and methodologies underpinning the indices in more detail.
The CPIH Compendium provides a comprehensive source of information on the CPIH, focusing on the approach to measuring owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH).
Users and uses of consumer price inflation statistics includes information on the users and uses of these statistics, and the characteristics of the different measures of inflation in relation to potential use.Back to table of contents
We have illustrated our future approach to measuring changing prices and costs faced by consumers and households using three “use cases”, along with how they relate to the measures currently published and those under development. We have also published proposed updates in Measuring changing prices and costs for consumers and households, proposed updates: March 2020.
The three cases refer to the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) as our lead measure of inflation based on economic principles, the Household Costs Indices (HCIs) as a set of measures to reflect the change in costs as experienced by households, and the Retail Prices Index (RPI) as a legacy measure that is required to meet existing user needs. Shortcomings of the RPI as a measure of inflation describes the issues with the RPI.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: Consumer price inflation enquiries: +44 1633 456900. Consumer price inflation recorded message (available after 8:00 on release day): +44 800 011 3703