Consumer price inflation, UK: January 2021

Price indices, percentage changes and weights for the different measures of consumer price inflation.

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4 March 2021

Error in the Retail Prices Index

An error has been identified in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) in 2020, caused by an issue with the 2018 to 2019 Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF) dataset, which is used to produce the weights underpinning the RPI.

There is no impact on the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) or the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), for which weights are calculated using more comprehensive national accounts data sources. These sources draw on a wider range of survey and administrative sources than just the LCF.

Further information, including estimates for the RPI All-items 12-month inflation rates and index values calculated using the corrected 2020 RPI weights, can be found in the Error in the Retail Prices Index statement.

In line with the published Revisions policy for consumer price inflation statistics, the RPI will not be revised. This error will be corrected in the February 2021 RPI, due to be published on Wednesday 24 March 2021 as part of the regular, annual update of RPI weights.

We are aware RPI is used in certain financial contracts and so we are publishing this notice outside of trading hours.

This is an accredited National Statistic. Click for information about types of official statistics.

Cyswllt:
Email Andy King

Dyddiad y datganiad:
17 February 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
24 March 2021

1. Main points

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose 0.9% in the 12 months to January 2021, up from 0.8% to December 2020.

  • The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate came from recreation and culture (0.35 percentage points).

  • Furniture and household goods, restaurants and hotels, food, and transport had the largest upward contributions to the change in the January 2021 12-month rate, while falling clothing and footwear prices had a downward effect.

  • On a monthly basis, the CPIH fell by 0.1% in January 2021, following a 0.2% rise in December 2020.

  • As a result of increased restrictions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in January 2021, the number of CPIH items identified as unavailable was 69, accounting for 8.3% of the basket by weight; this number rose from 9 in December 2020 but was lower than the 72 items that were unavailable during the last lockdown in November 2020; for the January 2021 price collection (which took place on or around 12 January 2021), we collected a weighted total of 88.2% of comparable coverage collected before the first lockdown (excluding unavailable items).

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose 0.7% in the 12 months to January 2021, up from 0.6% to December 2020; on a monthly basis, CPI fell by 0.2% in January 2021, following a 0.3% rise in December 2020.

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the production of statistics; Section 8: Measuring the data describes the situation in relation to consumer price statistics.

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2. CPIH 12-month inflation rate

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose 0.9% in the 12 months to January 2021, up from 0.8% to December 2020.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose 0.7% in the 12 months to January 2021, up from 0.6% to December 2020.

The CPIH and CPI fell by 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively, between December 2020 and January 2021, compared with the CPIH and CPI falling by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, between December 2019 and January 2020.

The owner occupiers’ housing (OOH) index rose by 1.3% in the 12 months to January 2021, unchanged from the previous month.

Given that the OOH component accounts for around 19% of the CPIH, it is the main driver for differences between the CPIH and CPI inflation rates.

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3. Contributions to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate

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.

There were notable increases in the contributions to the 12-month inflation rate from four broad groups between December 2020 and January 2021. The largest increase was to the furniture, household equipment and routine maintenance group, where the contribution increased from a downward contribution to the 12-month inflation rate of 0.03 percentage points in December 2020 to an upward contribution of 0.05 percentage points in January 2021. The contribution from this grouping has alternated between having upward or downward contributions on the 12-month inflation rate over the last year.

There were further large increases in the contributions to the 12-month inflation rate from restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport.

Since April 2010, the largest overall contribution to the 12-month inflation rate has come from recreation and culture. The contribution from this group increased between March and April 2020 to stand at 0.31 percentage points. Prices for data-processing equipment, computer games, games consoles and children’s toys rose in April 2020 – unlike the March to April falls observed in recent years – partly as a result of the restrictions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The contribution from recreation and culture has fluctuated since April 2020, mainly because of price movements for computer games and consoles both in 2020 and the equivalent months in 2019. For January 2021, the contribution from recreation and culture remained unchanged from December 2020, at 0.35 percentage points, equalling the level in August 2020. This was the joint-highest level since February 2019.

Despite the contribution from transport showing more variation than any other group over the last two years, its contribution was comparatively stable between September and November 2020, with the 12-month inflation rate for the group at or just above 1.0%. However, two months of increasing growth (1.9% and 2.3% in December 2020 and January 2021, respectively) has seen the contribution from transport reach 0.27 percentage points in January 2021 – its highest level since June 2019.

The contribution from clothing and footwear to the headline rate has mostly been negative over the last two years. Within the year, prices normally follow a clear seasonal pattern, rising over the period from January to May, then falling between May and July as items are placed on sale in preparation for the arrival of autumn product ranges. Prices then tend to rise until further sales in December and January.

Throughout 2020, we have seen clothing and footwear prices follow a different pattern compared with previous years. We recorded increased discounting during March and April 2020, probably in response to the lockdown, then prices were relatively stable (compared with previous years) to August 2020. Between August and October 2020, prices broadly increased as usual, but this has been followed by a fall between October and November 2020, because of notable sales in November as many areas went into lockdown.

Despite clothing prices rising slightly in December 2020, prices fell by 4.6% between December 2020 and January 2021 as a result of increased discounting. This meant the downward contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate from the clothing and footwear group increased in magnitude to 0.22 percentage points in January 2021.

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4. Contributions to change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate

Figure 3 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 December 2020 and January 2021. 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 largest upward contribution (of 0.08 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate, between December 2020 and January 2021, came from the furniture, household equipment and maintenance division. Prices overall fell by 1.6% between December 2020 and January 2021, compared with a larger fall of 3.1% between December 2019 and January 2020.

The upward contributions came from across the division with the largest (of 0.04 percentage points) coming from furniture and furnishings, where there was reduced discounting to prices of leather settees and double beds. There were smaller upward contributions across the household textiles; household appliances, fitting and repairs; and glassware, tableware and household utensils groups, with the only standout movements coming from fitted sheets and duvets.

Restaurants and hotels made the second-largest upward contribution (of 0.07 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between December 2020 and January 2021. Prices, overall, were estimated to have risen by 0.9% between December 2020 and January 2021, compared with a fall of 0.1% between December 2019 and January 2020.

Within this group, there was a large upward effect (of 0.08 percentage points) coming from accommodation services (from overnight hotel accommodation) partially offset by a downward effect (of 0.02 percentage points) coming from catering services, which includes restaurants and cafes. As a result of the national lockdowns being in place during January 2021, many of the items in the restaurants and hotels category were unavailable to consumers in January and therefore the price movements have been imputed using the all-items CPI monthly and annual growth rates (for available items) as outlined in Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices.

There was also a large upward contribution (of 0.06 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate, between December 2020 and January 2021, from food and non-alcoholic beverages, with prices rising by 0.6%, compared with a fall of 0.1% between December 2019 and January 2020. The effect comprised small movements from a variety of product groups, with the largest upward contributions coming from vegetables (0.02 percentage points) and oils and fats (0.02 percentage points). Overall prices for vegetables, in particular for premium potato crisps and cauliflowers (which were heavily discounted in December 2020), rose between December 2020 and January 2021, while they were unchanged between December 2019 and January 2020. With oils and fats, prices overall fell by 8.9% between December 2019 and January 2020 but fell by only 0.2% between December 2020 and January 2021.

The January 2021 price collection was completed on or around 12 January 2021 so some of the uncertainty in price quotes at the start of the year had settled down. However, there was a 1.0% increase to the overall price of fish between December 2020 and January 2021, where prices fell by 1.1% between December 2019 and January 2020. The largest price increases were for frozen fish fingers and prawns, and fresh salmon fillets.

There was also a large upward contribution (of 0.04 percentage points) from transport. There were small upward contributions from transport services (of 0.02 percentage points) and both the purchase of vehicles and operation of personal transport equipment, which each contributed 0.01 percentage points.

There was much offsetting within transport services, with upward contributions of 0.04 and 0.01 percentage points from air and coach fares, respectively, being partially offset by downward contributions of 0.02 and 0.01 percentage points from rail and sea fares, respectively. As travel restrictions were reinstated in January, the price movements for air, coach, international rail and sea fares were all imputed following the guidance set out in Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices. The downward contribution of 0.02 percentage points from rail fares was a result of the annual price rise to rail fares being delayed until 1 March 2021.

Housing and household services made a small upward contribution of 0.02 percentage points to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate. The upward contribution came from owner occupiers’ housing costs and actual rents for housing, where charges rose by more than between December 2019 and January 2020.

The only notable downward contribution was a large contribution from clothing and footwear, where prices overall fell by 4.8% between December 2020 and January 2021, compared with a fall of 3.3% between December 2019 and January 2020. Prices usually fall between these two months but price movements across 2020 have been unusual compared with previous years and appear to have been affected by the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Between December 2020 and January 2021, there was a notable increase in the proportion of items marked as being discounted, particularly for men’s clothing. We would ordinarily expect there to be an increase in the number of discounted items at this time of year because of January sales. Given the large proportion of discounted items within our sample in November and December 2020, we observed a further increase in January 2021, taking the proportion of items marked as being on sale to be nearly 50% more than in January 2020.

Within clothing and footwear, the largest downward contribution (0.08 percentage points) came from garments, with women’s and men’s clothing contributing 0.04 and 0.03 percentage points, respectively. Footwear also had a large downward contribution (of 0.04 percentage points).

The number of CPIH items that were unavailable to UK consumers in January 2021 increased to 69 from 9 in December 2020. In total, these unavailable items had an upward contribution of 0.12 percentage points to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate. Most imputed items made no overall contribution to the change in the rate. The largest upward contributions came from overnight hotel accommodation and air fares (of 0.08 and 0.04 percentage points, respectively). There were further smaller upward contributions from admissions to live music events and cinema tickets, which were partially offset by small downward contributions from foreign holidays and sea fares.

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5. Owner occupiers’ housing costs

Figure 4 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 January 2021, the contribution of housing components to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate rose to 0.19 percentage points, an increase of 0.02 percentage points since December 2020. The contribution has been relatively low since April 2020 (in contrast with contributions in excess of 0.50 percentage points at the start of 2020) as a result of reduced contributions from electricity, gas, liquid fuels, water supply and sewerage collection. The small upward movement between the latest two months has been caused by a small increase in the contributions from owner occupiers’ housing (OOH) costs and actual rents.

The contribution from OOH had been on a downward trend from a high in October 2016. However, over 2020 prices have stabilised and the contribution of 0.21 percentage points in January 2021 is the highest since March 2020. The measurement of OOH uses the rent paid for an equivalent house as a proxy for the costs faced by an owner-occupier. It includes the rents paid for all lets, not just new lets, so that changes in rents take longer to feed through than in the case of measures based on new lets only.

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6. Consumer price inflation data

Consumer price inflation tables
Dataset | Released 17 February 2021
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 17 February 2021
Comprehensive database of time series covering measures of inflation data for the UK including the CPIH, CPI and RPI.

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7. Glossary

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 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)

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (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 of these 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. 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 produced at the same level of detail as the CPIH in the accompanying dataset and time series.

Retail Prices Index (RPI)

The Retail Prices Index (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 time series section of the inflation and price indices area of our website.

The UK Statistics Authority recommended in 2019 that the publication of the RPI should be stopped at a point in the future and that in the interim, the shortcomings of the RPI should be addressed by introducing CPIH data sources and methods into its production. The Authority and HM Treasury subsequently launched a consultation on 11 March 2020 on the Authority’s proposal to address the shortcomings of the RPI.

The response to the consultation was published on 25 November 2020. In summary, the Authority concluded that to make the change, it would follow the methodology outlined in the consultation document. In addition, it would discontinue the supplementary and lower level indices of the RPI when the proposals are implemented, providing users with guidance to assist moving away from RPI-related indices. The Chancellor decided that, to minimise the impact of the Authority’s proposal on the holders of index-linked gilts, he could not give his consent to implementing the changes before 2030 when the last of the relevant index-linked gilts matures.

Alongside the launch of the consultation on the future of the RPI, we published proposed updates to our article on the three “use cases” for our consumer inflation measures in Measuring changing prices and costs for consumers and households, proposed updates: March 2020.

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8. Measuring the data

Coronavirus

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are working to ensure that we continue to publish our consumer price statistics. In line with the current government guidelines, we are enabling Office for National Statistics (ONS) staff to work from home and to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact. We have an established infrastructure, and these changes will not affect our ability to produce our Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI) statistics.

In April to July 2020, there were challenges around some of 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. However, in August 2020, our price collectors were able to resume full or partial in-store collections in 128 locations following the approach detailed in our Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection article. 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). Where we were unable to collect prices locally, prices continued to be collected over the internet and by phone and email.

Once the UK governments introduced national restrictions across the UK from the start of November 2020, we reverted to full central collection for all 141 UK locations using a combination of internet, email and phone.

For the collection in December 2020, there were a variety of restrictions in place across the UK. While some locations could be visited and prices collected physically in stores, the number that were in areas where restrictions were greater was sufficiently large to justify a consistent central approach to price collection.

The manner in which missing price movements are imputed depends on whether access to a good or service is available or unavailable according to the restrictions in place. However, the imputation scheme requires that availability is defined nationally in order for unavailable items to have a negligible impact on the all-items calculation. For more information, please see Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices.

For the January 2021 collection, we identified 69 items across the CPIH basket of goods and services that were unavailable to consumers, accounting for 8.3% of the CPIH basket by weight. It is important to remember that the coverage weight is based on the January 2021 weights, which have been adjusted to better reflect 2020 expenditure. The items that are unavailable tend to be in divisions where expenditure reduced in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The number of unavailable items had increased from 9 in December 2020 but was lower than the 72 items that were unavailable during the last lockdown in November. The list of unavailable items in January 2021, and the changes to the list from previous months, are shown in Table 58 in the Consumer price inflation dataset.

The Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices article describes the approach we have taken for imputing price movements for items that are currently unavailable to consumers to purchase. For unavailable items in the RPI, we have imputed price movements based on the all-available-items price movement of the RPI (annual or monthly, depending on whether the series is seasonal or not), and for the CPIH and CPI we have imputed price movements based on the all-available-items price movement of the CPI. It is necessary to use the CPI price movement for both, so that both CPIH and CPI are constructed from the same set of item indices.

Overall, the number of price quotes that are usually collected in store and that are used in constructing the January 2021 indices was 79.7% of the number of price quotes collected in February 2020 (excluding unavailable items). It is not unusual for the proportion of quotes to be below 100% as there are often prices that are either temporarily missing or where the price for a non-comparable replacement item is collected. For this reason, we have compared the coverage in January 2021 with the February 2020 index collected before the social distancing policies and movement restrictions came into effect.

The price quotes collected by ONS staff or from administrative data account for approximately 20% of the price quotes in our CPIH sample. Once all price quotes have been weighted together, the overall coverage for goods and services available in January 2021 was 88.2% of the comparable coverage collected before the first lockdown (excluding unavailable items).

For January 2021, in addition to the 69 unavailable items in the CPIH basket, we identified one other item where, although available in theory, price collection had proved largely impossible, so we imputed the price movement. The categories where the number of price quotes used in constructing the indices is less than half the number used in February 2020 have been identified in relevant tables in the accompanying dataset, for example, in Table 3.

We continue to engage with other national statistical institutes (NSIs) and international organisations to understand how they are responding to similar issues. Under Section 21 of the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007, the Bank of England must make a determination on any changes to the coverage or basic calculation of the RPI that we propose, to establish whether such a change “constitutes a fundamental change in the index which would be materially detrimental to the interests of the holders of relevant index-linked gilts”.

We shared our plan with the Bank of England, and they determined that none of the temporary changes outlined “were both fundamental changes to the coverage or basic calculation of the RPI, and also materially detrimental to the holders of relevant index-linked gilts”. The correspondence is available.

Coronavirus supplementary analysis

In November, we published the Effect of reweighting the consumer prices basket during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: April to September 2020, which contains experimental consumer price statistics for both CPIH and CPI. By linking the price changes between the latest month and the previous one on to the old series – a process called ”chain-linking” – we are able to change our expenditure weights each month to remove any unavailable items and adjust the weight of remaining items according to our best available evidence of consumption patterns.

We are planning to publish a further article that updates the information to cover October to December with next month’s release on 24 March 2021. This is to allow us additional time for data processing and quality assurance to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy.

Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021

The weights and sample (or basket) of items used to compile the consumer price indices are updated at the beginning of each year. For CPIH and CPI, the 2021 weights would normally be based on spending patterns for 2019 from the national accounts. Given the effect of the coronavirus on spending during 2020 and the problems with collecting prices for new items potentially under lockdown conditions, we have changed the procedures for 2021.

In line with international guidance (PDF, 503KB), we have decided to update the weights and basket, and to adjust the weights where there has been a clear change in spending between 2019 and 2020. For RPI, the 2021 weights would normally be based on spending patterns for the 12 months ending June 2020 from our Living Costs and Food Survey. Since this includes a period when spending was affected by the coronavirus, we have decided to use the results from the survey without further adjustment for changed spending patterns.

In January 2021, we published the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021 article describing the procedures in more detail.

The CPIH division-level weights for January 2021 summarised below:

To produce an indicative estimate of the impact of the weights changes, we have re-aggregated the CPIH and the CPI based on the 2019 Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE) data that would have been used for expenditure weights had we chosen to use the normal procedure for estimating weights. This is to give an indication of the likely impact of the weights compilation process used for 2021.

For the January 2021 indices, the indicative estimates show that the CPI 12-month inflation rate would have been unchanged (to 1 decimal place), if we had not adjusted to better reflect 2020 expenditure for the most heavily affected spending categories. For the CPIH, the indicative estimate shows that the 12-month inflation rate (rounded to 1 decimal place) would have been 0.1 percentage points lower.

The weights used for the indicative estimates have not been through the same level of quality assurance as the weights used in the compilation of headline CPIH and CPI.

The updated weights for 2021 will be published, alongside the 2021 basket article, on 15 March 2021.

End of EU exit transition period

As the transition period ends and the UK enters into a new Trade and Co-operation Agreement with the EU, the UK statistical system will continue to produce and publish our wide range of economic and social statistics and analysis. We are committed to continued alignment with the highest international statistical standards, enabling comparability both over time and internationally, and ensuring the general public, statistical users and decision-makers have the data they need to be informed.

As the shape of the UK’s future statistical relationship with the EU becomes clearer over the coming period, the ONS is making preparations to assume responsibilities that as part of our membership of the EU, and during the transition period, were delegated to the statistical office of the EU, Eurostat. This includes responsibilities relating to international comparability of economic statistics, deciding what international statistical guidance to apply in the UK context and to provide further scrutiny of our statistics and sector classification decisions.

In applying international statistical standards and best practice to UK economic statistics, we will draw on the technical advice of experts in the UK and internationally, and our work will be underpinned by the UK’s well-established and robust framework for independent official statistics, set out in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Further information on our proposals will be made available later this year.

Delivery to Eurostat

Following the end of the transition period, the ONS will cease to provide a monthly submission of consumer price inflation data to Eurostat.

Although the Consumer Price Index at constant taxes (CPI-CT) series was produced as part of this submission, we are planning to continue the publication of CPI-CT on a quarterly basis. This means that each quarter, we intend to publish the monthly index values for the quarter and their sub-indices, along with the 1-month and 12-month inflation rates. These will continue to be published in Table 32 and Table 33 of the Consumer price inflation dataset.

We will, however, cease to publish the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) international comparisons for EU countries currently presented in Table 52 and Table 53 of the Consumer price inflation dataset. The international comparisons will continue to be available on the Eurostat website and a link will be provided in place of the current table.

Methodology information

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. From April to July 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we collected all prices centrally by phone, email and from websites and used imputation to produce series for some goods and services, as outlined in Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices.

For the August 2020 index, price collectors were able to resume full in-store collections in 102 of the locations and partial collection in a further 26 out of the 141 locations used across the country. For the remaining locations, which were affected by local lockdowns and collection issues, prices continued to be collected centrally. Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection describes the principles used in resuming price collection across the country and discusses specific issues arising from the resumption.

In November 2020, the government in England introduced tougher national restrictions in England from 5 November, the tiered system of COVID-19 protection levels was introduced in Scotland on 2 November, the firebreak lockdown in Wales ended during the prices collection period but non-essential travel was still discouraged, and Northern Ireland’s circuit breaker lockdown was in force affecting various services. As a result of the various restrictions to travel and outlet opening in November 2020, we returned to full central collections for all 141 UK locations using a combination of internet, email and phone.

For the collection in December 2020, there were a variety of restrictions in place across the UK. Restrictions vary according to countries within the UK and, for those countries operating a tier system, by location also. While some locations could be visited and prices collected physically in stores, the number that were in areas where restrictions were greater was sufficiently large to justify a consistent central approach to price collection. The central collection will continue until restrictions are eased.

The figures in this publication use data collected on or around 12 January 2021.

Consumer price indices, a brief guide gives an overview of consumer price statistics.

The Consumer Prices Indices Technical Manual covers the concepts and methodologies underpinning the indices in more detail. The latest version was released on 18 September 2019.

The CPIH Compendium provides a comprehensive source of information on the CPIH, with a focus on the approach to measuring owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH).

More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Consumer price inflation QMI.

Consumer price inflation, updating weights: 2020 was released on 19 March 2020 and describes the latest update of the relative weights of items in the consumer price inflation basket to ensure they remain representative of current consumer spending patterns. A new source of information for some of the underlying low-level weights was also introduced with the February 2020 index. Impact of introducing a new data source for shop-type weights on consumer price indices, released on 12 February 2020, describes the change of source that has been made.

Consumer price inflation basket of goods and services: 2020, released on 16 March 2020, outlines the review process for the items making up the inflation basket used to calculate the UK consumer price inflation indices and the changes in the latest year.

Explaining the contribution to change in the 12-month rate (PDF, 37KB) explains how the various types of goods and services contribute to the change in the 12-month inflation rate between the latest two months. The size and direction of these contributions depend on how prices changed between both the latest two months this year and the same two months last year. For example, the price of a product could make an upward contribution to the change in the rate even if it fell, provided that it fell by less than it did between the same two months a year ago.

Users and uses of consumer price inflation statistics provides information about the users and uses of consumer price inflation statistics and user experiences of these statistics. It also provides information on the characteristics of the different measures of consumer price inflation in relation to potential use.

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9. Strengths and limitations

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 to the article in Measuring changing prices and costs for consumers and households, proposed updates: March 2020.

Specifically, 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, released on 8 March 2018, describes the issues with the RPI.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Andy King
cpi@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: Consumer price inflation enquiries: +44 (0)1633 456900. Consumer price inflation recorded message (available after 8:00 on release day): +44 (0) 800 011 3703