The headline rate of output inflation for goods leaving the factory gate was negative 0.9% on the year to July 2020, unchanged from June 2020.
The price for materials and fuels used in the manufacturing process displayed negative growth of 5.7% on the year to July 2020, up from negative growth of 6.7% in June 2020.
Petroleum products was the largest contributor to the annual rate of output inflation.
Crude oil provided the largest upward contribution to the change in the annual rate of input inflation.
Prices for both petroleum products and crude oil have increased on the month as lockdown and travel restrictions have eased, and global demand has picked up.
November 2020 will see the first publication of the producer price inflation figures on a gross basis; we encourage the use of gross series indices where available, as the net versions will no longer be produced.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and production of statistics; Section 8: Quality and methodology describes the situation in relation to the Producer Price Inflation (PPI).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in July 2020
On 23 March 2020, the UK and devolved governments announced official guidance on restrictions on movement for the UK as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Data collection for the Producer Price Index (PPI) surveys, including the surveys measuring domestic, import and export prices for July 2020, was via paper questionnaires that were sent to businesses on 18 June 2020, asking to return prices that were applicable on or around 1 July 2020.
Although there has been a gradual reopening of workplaces and premises since May 2020, as a result of the lifting of government restrictions, the response for July 2020 is lower in comparison with pre-lockdown months. The PPI response for July 2020 was 74.2%, down from a pre-lockdown 87.4% in February 2020, but a 2.9 percentage point improvement on June 2020. We closely monitor response rates in each publication and use statistical methods to deal with non-response. For further information, please see Section 8: Quality and methodology.
We have worked closely with our business respondents and data suppliers, and we have used additional data sources to quality assure the estimates in this publication. These include qualitative information sourced from manufacturing industry respondents to the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS) and anecdotal evidence from responders to both the BICS and/or PPI surveys.
Merging SPPI with PPI
To ensure the accessibility of producer prices to users, we will be implementing a new bulletin that collates information from the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) in October 2020 – Producer Price Inflation including Services, UK. The methodology, data collection and production of the PPI and SPPI will not be affected as a result of this change.
We will be implementing important methodological improvements to the PPI and SPPI in November 2020. Articles published on 20 July 2020 have detailed changes in methodology, Producer price indices methods changes and the move to a chain-linked business prices structure, Chain-linking in business prices.
Further articles explain moving from fixed-base weights to annual chain-linking, which will improve the accuracy of these statistics; Producer price weight changes and Services producer price weight changes. At the same time, we will be introducing changes to the level of detail of the data we publish and classification changes alongside changes to our producer price inflation headline figure from net to gross in line with international best practice. To support users with the transition to the new headline definition, Section 6: Gross and net producer price indices includes a comparison between the existing measures of output and input producer price inflation on a net and gross basis.
The November 2020 PPI bulletin will be published for the first time using Classification of Products by Activity 2.1 (CPA2.1) framework. CPA 2.1 is the most up-to-date international product classification system, reflecting product change over time.
About the PPI
The factory gate price (output price) is the amount received by UK producers for the goods that they sell to the domestic market. It includes the margin that businesses make on goods, in addition to costs such as labour, raw materials and energy, as well as interest on loans, site or building maintenance, and rent.
The input price measures the price of materials and fuels bought by UK manufacturers for processing. It includes materials and fuels that are both imported or sourced in the domestic market. It is not limited to materials used in the final product but it includes what is required by businesses in their normal day-to-day running, such as fuels.
The use of core input inflation removes the more volatile indices of food, tobacco, beverages and petrol from our statistics.
Index numbers shown in the main text of this bulletin are on a net sector basis. The index for any industry relates only to transactions between that industry and other industries; sales and purchases within industries are excluded.
Indices relate to average prices for a month. The full effect of a price change occurring part way through any month will only be reflected in the following month’s index.
All index numbers exclude Value Added Tax (VAT). The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), introduced in April 2018, is also excluded. Excise Duty (on cigarettes, manufactured tobacco, alcoholic liquor and petroleum products) is included, except where labelled otherwise.
Each PPI has two unique identifiers: a 10-digit index number, which relates to the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC 2007) code appropriate to the index, and a four-character alpha-numeric code (series ID), which can be used to find series when using the time series dataset for producer price inflation.
Figures for the latest two months are provisional, and the latest five months are subject to revisions taking account of late and revised respondent data. Revisions to seasonal adjustment factors are re-estimated every month for the seasonally adjusted series. A routine seasonal adjustment review is normally conducted in the autumn each year.Back to table of contents
Figure 1 shows input and output Producer Price Indices (PPIs) over the past 15 years. Input producer price inflation is driven mostly by commodity prices, which tend to be more volatile over time, compared with prices for finished goods (output producer price inflation). Input producer price inflation is also sensitive to exchange rate movements, as roughly two-thirds of inputs into the UK manufacturing sector are imported.
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The annual rate of inflation for goods leaving the factory gate (output prices) remained at 0.9%, unchanged from June 2020 (Table 1). This is the fourth consecutive month that the rate has been negative, following 45 consecutive months of positive annual inflation.
On the month, the rate of output inflation was 0.3% in July 2020, unchanged from June 2020. This is the first time we have seen two consecutive months of positive monthly growth since May 2019.
|All manufactured products (JVZ7)|
|Change in the |
Download this table Table 1: Output prices, index values, growth rates and percentage point change to the 12-month rate, UK, July 2019 to July 2020.xls .csv
Figure 2 shows contributions by product group to the monthly and annual rate of output inflation, and Table 2 shows monthly and annual growth rates by product group.
Of the 10 product groups, four provided negative contributions to the output annual rate.
Petroleum provided the largest downward contribution of 1.25 percentage points to the annual rate (Figure 2) and had negative annual price growth of 17.6% on the year to July 2020 (Table 2). This is the sixth consecutive month that the annual rate for petroleum has been negative but the second successive month the rate has picked up since January 2020. The negative rate in July 2020 was driven by diesel and gas oil, which is down 14.1% on the year, but up from negative 15.1% in June 2020.
Price movements for petroleum products in July 2020 broadly follow trends seen in crude oil over recent months and likely reflect both demand and supply side factors during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These include increases in crude oil prices in June 2020 as global production levels of crude oil have seen cuts, as well as increased demand for petroleum products, particularly diesel and gas oil as lockdown measures are relaxed and economic activity begins to recover.
Chemicals and pharmaceuticals displayed the second-largest downward contribution, of 0.14 percentage points to the annual rate, with negative annual growth of 2.1% in July 2020. The annual rate for this product group has remained negative for 13 consecutive months and is driven by Basic chemicals, fertilisers and nitrogen compounds, plastics and synthetic rubber in primary forms, which had negative growth of 5.4% in July 2020.
Other small downward contributions were made by Paper and printing products, and Other manufactured products.
Of the six product groups that provided a positive contribution to the annual rate, tobacco and alcohol provided the largest, at 0.24 percentage points. The annual rate for tobacco and alcohol rose by 2.6% on the year to July 2020.
On the month, output inflation was 0.3%. Petroleum products displayed the largest upward contribution, at 0.30 percentage points, with prices rising by 3.4% on the month in July 2020. This is the second consecutive month of positive inflation following four months of negative growth.
|Product group||Percentage Change|
|Tobacco and alcohol (incl. duty)||0.0||2.6|
|Clothing, textile and leather||-0.1||0.4|
|Paper and printing||-0.2||-0.9|
|Petroleum products (incl. duty)||3.4||-17.6|
|Chemical and pharmaceutical||-0.2||-2.1|
|Metal, machinery and equipment||0.2||1.5|
|Computer, electrical and optical||0.1||0.3|
|Other manufactured products||-0.3||-0.2|
Download this table Table 2: Output prices, growth rates, UK, July 2020.xls .csv
Figure 3 shows contributions to the change in the annual rate for factory gate prices (output prices).
Of the 10 product groups, two displayed upward contributions to the change in the rate, with petroleum products providing the largest, at 0.11 percentage points (Figure 3) while Metals, machinery and equipment made the other. These were offset by negative contributions from six other industry sectors, the largest coming from Transport equipment. Chemicals and pharmaceuticals made no contribution either way.
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The annual rate of inflation for materials and fuels purchased by manufacturers (input prices) was negative 5.7% in July 2020, up from negative 6.7% in June 2020 (Table 3). This is the sixth consecutive month that the rate has been negative but the third consecutive month that it has picked up.
The monthly rate for materials and fuels purchased was 1.8% in July 2020, down from 3.0% in June 2020.
|All materials and fuels purchased (K646)|
|Change in the |
Download this table Table 3: Input prices, index values, growth rates and percentage point change to the 12-month rate, UK, July 2019 to July 2020.xls .csv
The annual rate of inflation for imported materials and fuels was negative 6.1% in July 2020 (Table 4), which is up 0.5 percentage points from June 2020 when it was negative 6.6%. The monthly rate was 1.7% in July 2020, down 0.9 percentage points from 2.6% in June 2020. Imported metals and fuels represent two-thirds of overall materials and fuels (input prices) in terms of index weight.
The Sterling effective exchange rate index (ERI) displayed no change on the month in July 2020. On the year, the ERI displayed positive growth of 1.3% in July 2020, which is up 1.4 percentage points from negative 0.1% in June 2020.
|Imported materials and |
fuels purchased (K64F)
|Sterling effective exchange|
rate - month average (BK67)
|Change in |
Download this table Table 4: Imported materials and fuels purchased and the sterling effective exchange rate, index values, growth rates and percentage point change to the 12-month rate, UK, July 2019 to July 2020.xls .csv
Figure 4 shows contributions by product group to the monthly and annual rate of input inflation, and Table 5 shows monthly and annual growth rates by product group.
Of the nine product groups, six provided negative contributions to the input annual rate.
The largest downward contribution to the annual rate came from crude oil, which contributed 5.56 percentage points (Figure 4) and had negative annual price growth of 31.9% (Table 5). This is the sixth consecutive month that the rate has been negative but the third consecutive month that the rate has picked up.
PPI prices for crude oil typically reflect a range of factors, including geopolitical events around the world as well as local refineries’ market conditions. The fall in prices in the 12 months to July 2020 continued the trend seen in June 2020 and reflected several market conditions including oversupply and reduced global demands for crude oil during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. World crude oil prices in July 2020 have started to increase as some countries have eased lockdown and travel restrictions, and global demand has picked up.
The average price for world crude oil was US $42 per barrel in July 2020. This is up 6.6% on the month but down 31.6% on the year, according to World Bank.
The recent recovery in crude oil prices follows from the historical agreement reached between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other nations to curb global supplies by a record 9.7m barrels per day, or roughly 10% of world’s pre-pandemic daily consumption, in May and June. The deal was later extended through July. Weakening of the US dollar against a basket of currencies in recent months has also provided support for crude prices as investors use dollar-denominated commodities as safe havens when the currency weakens.
Imported chemicals provided the second-largest downward contribution to the annual rate, at 0.69 percentage points, with negative price growth of 5.2%. The annual rate for this product group has remained negative for 13 consecutive months. This was driven by imported products used in the manufacture of petrochemicals, which fell by 7.9% on the year.
Other imports provided the third-largest negative contribution to the annual rate, with a contribution of 0.33 percentage points and negative price growth of 3.8%. This was driven by imported products used in the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products, which fell by 12.6% on the year.
On the month, six out of the nine product groups provided upward contributions to the rate. Crude oil provided the largest upward contribution of 1.31 percentage points, with prices increasing by 11.5% between June and July 2020. This is the third consecutive month that the rate has been positive, following four months of negative growth.
|Product group||Percentage change|
|Fuel including Climate Change Levy||1.7||-2.0|
|Home food materials||0.7||2.3|
|Imported food materials||0.4||-0.2|
|Other home-produced materials||0.0||-2.1|
|Imported parts and equipment||-0.2||0.4|
|Other imported materials||-0.3||-3.8|
Download this table Table 5: Input prices, growth rates, UK, July 2020.xls .csv
Figure 5 shows contributions to the change in the annual rate of inflation for materials and fuels purchased by manufacturers (input prices).
The annual rate for input prices increased by 1.0 percentage points, from negative 6.7% in June 2020 to negative 5.7% in July 2020. Of the nine product groups, only Crude oil, Home-produced food and Fuel displayed upward contributions to the change in the rate.
Inputs of crude oil provided the largest upward contribution to the change in the rate, with 1.05 percentage points. The annual rate of crude oil rose by 6.6 percentage points, from negative 38.5% in June 2020 to negative 31.9% in July 2020. This is partly a base effect, as crude oil prices rose much more slowly between June and July 2019 while other economic factors, such as increased demand alongside supply limitations accelerated the rate in July 2020.
Home food materials provided the second-largest upward contribution to the change in the rate, at 0.25 percentage points with a smaller upward contribution from Fuel.
Other imported parts and equipment provided the largest downward contribution to the change in the rate, at 0.20 percentage points with the annual rate falling by 1.1 percentage points, from 1.5% in June 2020 to 0.4% in July 2020.
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Producer Price Indices (PPIs) are measured on two different bases: gross and net of inter-sector sales. Gross sector PPIs include products sold by one business to another business classified to the same industry sector. Net sector PPIs exclude (net out) products sold by a business to another business classified to the same industry sector. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) currently headlines with net sector PPIs, which include duty. We will move our headline to a gross sector basis excluding duty after November 2020, in line with international best practice.
Figure 6 shows net and gross output PPIs over the past 10 years. In July 2020, the net output PPI was 115.1 while the gross output excluding duty PPI was 113.8.
Gross and net sector output PPIs display similar trends over time, although the gross indices show higher volatility, particularly at times of high inflation, either positive or negative (Figure 7). For the net output PPI, the annual growth fell to negative 0.9% in July 2020, no change from negative 0.9% in June 2020. For the gross output excluding duty PPI, the annual growth in July 2020 was negative 3.0%, up from negative 3.3% in June 2020.
Figure 8 shows the net and gross input PPIs over the past 10 years. The trends of the PPIs are similar, although the net input PPI appears more volatile than the gross input PPI. In July 2020, the net input PPI was 111.2 while the gross input PPI was 113.2.
Figure 9 also shows that the annual growth rates for the net input PPI are more volatile than for the gross input PPI. For the net input PPI, the annual growth was negative 5.7% in July 2020, up from negative 6.7% in June 2020. For the gross input PPI, the annual growth in July 2020 was negative 3.0%, up from negative 3.3% in June 2020.
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More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Producer Price Indices (PPIs) QMI.
If you would like more information about the reliability of the data, a PPI standard errors article was published on 18 May 2018. The tables present the calculated standard errors of the PPI between January and December 2017, for both month-on-month and 12-month growth.
Guidance on using indices in Indexation Clauses (PDF, 197KB) covers producer prices, services producer prices and consumer prices.
An up-to-date manual for the PPIs, including the import and export index, is available. PPIs methods and guidance (PDF, 1.14MB) provides an outline of the methods used to produce the PPIs as well as information about recent PPI developments.
Gross sector basis figures, which include intra-industry sales and purchases, are shown in the producer price inflation dataset Tables 4 and 6.
The detailed input indices of prices of materials and fuels purchased by industry
(producer price inflation dataset Table 6) do not include the Climate Change Levy (CCL). This is because each industry can, in practice, pay its own rate for the various forms energy, depending on the various negotiated discounts and exemptions that apply.
As highlighted in Section 2: Things you need to know about this release, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted on response rates in this release and is likely to be a factor in reduced response for future releases.
Table 6 shows the response rates to the domestic (PPI), export (Export Price Index (EPI)) and import (Import Price Index (IPI)) price surveys at time of publishing for each reference period. Response rates were lower in April, May, June and July 2020 compared with other months. Response rates for the main PPI and IPI show a small improvement in July 2020 compared with June 2020. However response rates for EPI show there was a slight fall of around 1.4 percentage points in July 2020 compared with June 2020.
Download this table Table 6: Overall effective response rates at time of first publishing.xls .csv
The low response rates in July 2020 are unlikely to have had a substantial impact on the headline PPI figures. However, the smaller sample sizes are likely to have increased volatility for some of the lower-level indices, particularly among IPIs and EPIs. Revisions are also likely to be larger than usual over the next few months.
Producer prices are normally imputed for non-response by using ratio imputation. The ratio imputation method calculates the growth within an index based on prices that have been returned and then applies it to the last known value for the missing price. This method ensures that if prices for a group of products increase (decrease) from one month to the next, the imputed values for non-respondents in that product group will also increase (decrease) when compared with the last known value.
In a small number of cases, prices may be manually imputed by directly using the latest available price from the latest available period. This method is applied when the nature of the product or previous information from respondents indicate that a price change is unlikely (that is, long-term contracts and fixed listing prices).
These are simple but effective methods, used as a standard internationally and recommended by international organisations specifically for treatment of missing producer prices because of the coronavirus pandemic (PDF, 52KB).
Links to additional ONS sources of coronavirus information
Various articles have been published that help describe the ONS' response to how the coronavirus might be seen in our estimates:
Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices (published 6 May 2020)
Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy, UK: April 2020 (published 12 June 2020)
Meeting the challenge of measuring the economy through the COVID-19 Pandemic (published 6 May 2020)
Coronavirus and the effects on UK GDP (published 6 May 2020)
Real-time turning point indicators: a UK focus (published 27 April 2020)
Communicating gross domestic product (published 27 April 2020)
Our latest data and analysis on the impact of the coronavirus on the UK economy and population are also available.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus and the production of statistics, and any specific queries on this can be directed to the Media Relations Office.
After EU withdrawal
As the UK leaves the EU, it is important that our statistics continue to be of high quality and are internationally comparable. During the transition period, those UK statistics that align with EU practice and rules will continue to do so in the same way as before 31 January 2020.
After the transition period, we will continue to produce our inflation statistics in line with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Statistics and in accordance with internationally agreed statistical guidance and standards.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456907