Consumer price inflation slows

New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 12-month rate – the amount prices change over a year – between April 2012 and April 2013 stood at 2.4%.

This means that a basket of goods and services that cost £100.00 in April 2012 would have cost £102.40 in April 2013.

This is the first time the 12-month rate has fallen since the increase in tuition fees contributed to the growth in the CPI rising to 2.7% in October 2012. The intervening six months have seen inflation remain relatively stable.

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 costs (including gas and electricity charges) and transport costs (including motor fuels). Combined, these three sectors have, on average, accounted for over half of the 12-month inflation rate each month.


CPI 12-month rate for the last ten years: April 2003 to April 2013

CPI 12-month rate for the last ten years: April 2003 to April 2013

Key points:

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 2.4% in the year to April 2013, down from 2.8% in March.
  • By far the largest downward contribution came from transport costs (notably motor fuels and air fares).
  • The only notable upward contribution came from price movements for food & non-alcoholic beverages.
  • This is the first time that the growth in inflation has slowed since Autumn 2012. Over the last six months, the CPI 12-month rate has been particularly stable.
  • CPIH, the new measure of consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs, grew by 2.2% in the year to April 2013, down from 2.6% in March.
  • 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 April.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of consumer price inflation produced to international standards and in line with European regulations. First published in 1997 as the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the CPI is the inflation measure used in the Government’s target for inflation.

The CPI is also used for purposes such as uprating pensions, wages and benefits and can aid in the understanding of inflation on family budgets.