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The cost of living has been rising in recent months in the UK and across the world.
Food and energy prices have been rising markedly over the past year, particularly gas prices, partly in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Global recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting further pressure on prices.
In the UK, prices of consumer goods and services rose by 9.6% in the year to October 2022 – the fastest rate in four decades. Since then the annual inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupier’s housing costs (CPIH), has slowed.
In the year to August 2023 the annual inflation rate was 6.3%, down from 6.4% in July.
You can explore how the prices of over 450 items in the inflation basket have increased over the past year with our shopping prices comparison tool.
You can use our Personal Inflation Calculator to get your own, personalised inflation rate based on what you spend your money on.
Energy: Rising petrol and diesel prices prevent ease in inflation
The price of motor fuels fell by 16.4% in the year to August 2023. This was a decreased fall when compared with the 24.9% fall in the year to July.
This was because of rises in the price of petrol and diesel between July and August 2023.
This is according to our Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) release.
The average price of petrol rose 5.3 pence per litre between July and August 2023 to 148.5 pence per litre. The average price of diesel rose 5.9 pence per litre to 151.1 pence per litre in the same period.
Between the same two months last year, prices of petrol and diesel both fell from record highs, by 14.3 pence per litre and 11.3 pence per litre, respectively.
- Read more about the cost of living and energy
Spending: Retail sales bounce back slightly in August
Retail sales volumes (the amount of stuff bought) across Great Britain were estimated to have risen 0.4% in August 2023, bouncing back slightly after a fall of 1.1% in July 2023.
Food stores sales volumes rose by 1.2% this month following a 2.6% fall in July 2023. Supermarkets reported that last month’s decline was due to wet weather reducing food and clothing sales.
Meanwhile, automotive fuel sales saw a 1.2% decline in August 2023 after a 0.9% increase in July 2023. Retailers have suggested that rising petrol and diesel prices caused the decrease.
- Read more about the cost of living and spending
Housing: House price growth slows while private rents rise at record pace
Across the UK, house prices increased 0.6% in the year to July 2023 (provisional estimate). This was down from the revised estimate of 1.9% in June 2023.
The average UK house price was £290,000 in July 2023 (provisional). This is £2,000 higher than the same month a year ago, but £2,000 less than the recent peak in November 2022.
- Read more about the cost of living and housing
How this affects you
Read our summary of our current and future analytical work related to the cost of living.
The government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
Explore the UK Measures of National Well-being dashboard, which tracks the progress of a range of factors affecting people’s lives. We have explained some of the findings from new measures added in 2023 in our Most adults report making some changes to their lifestyle for environmental reasons article.