Consumer price inflation, UK: July 2020

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

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Cyswllt:
Email Andy King

Dyddiad y datganiad:
19 August 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
16 September 2020

1. Main points

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.1% in July 2020, up from 0.8% in June 2020.

  • The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in July 2020 came from recreation and culture (0.33 percentage points).

  • Clothing, rising prices at the petrol pump, and furniture and household goods made large upward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between June and July 2020.

  • Falling food prices resulted in a partially offsetting small downward contribution to the change.

  • As the restrictions caused by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have been eased, the number of CPIH items that were unavailable to UK consumers in July has reduced to 12, as detailed in Table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset; these account for 1.3% of the CPIH basket by weight and made no overall contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month rate; the number of unavailable items is down from 67 unavailable items for June, and 74 and 90 unavailable items for May and April, respectively; for July, we have collected a weighted total of 82.0% of comparable coverage collected previously (excluding unavailable items).

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.0% in July 2020, up from 0.6% in June.

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2. CPIH 12-month inflation rate

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.1% in July 2020, up from 0.8% in June 2020.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month inflation rate was 1.0% in July 2020, up from 0.6% in June.

The CPIH and CPI 1-month inflation rates were both 0.4% in July 2020, compared with 0.0% in July 2019.

Given that the owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH) component accounts for around 16% 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.

Over the last 10 years, the largest contribution to the annual CPIH inflation rate came from either housing and household services or transport. However, this changed in April 2020 because of a combination of reduced household utility bills and falling motor fuel prices. Since then, the largest contribution has come from recreation and culture.

The contribution from recreation and culture had increased in April 2020, where prices for computer games, games consoles and children’s toys rose as a result of the restrictions placed on households caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The contribution from recreation and culture reduced in May but increased again in June. In July, the contribution was 0.33 percentage points (an increase of 0.01 percentage points from June). Despite not being the largest historically, recreation and culture has been one of the main contributors to the headline rate since 2017.

Between November 2018 and March 2020, the largest upward contribution to the CPIH inflation rate came from housing and household services. However, this group’s contribution fell from 0.51 percentage points in March 2020 to 0.16 percentage points in April, predominantly because of the introduction of the latest Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) energy price cap. In July 2020, the contribution from housing and household services has increased slightly to 0.19 percentage points.

Over the last two years, the contribution from transport has shown more variation than any other group, ranging from an upward contribution of 0.75 percentage points in August 2018 to a downward contribution of 0.20 percentage points in May 2020. Much of the movement comes from changes in the price of motor fuels, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, though contributions from air fares and second-hand cars have also changed noticeably over the period.

The downward contribution from transport changed to 0.08 percentage points in July 2020, from 0.18 percentage points in June, as the price of petrol and diesel rose. Average petrol prices rose by 4.9 pence per litre, the largest monthly increase since January 2011, to stand at 111.4 pence per litre in July 2020. Average diesel prices were 116.7 pence per litre in July 2020, having increased by 4.0 pence per litre since June 2020.

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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 June and July 2020. 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 0.12 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between June and July 2020 came from clothing and footwear, where prices overall fell by 0.7% between June and July 2020, compared with a fall of 2.9% between the same months in 2019.

Ordinarily, prices for clothing and footwear experience a larger fall each year between June and July with items being placed on sale in preparation for the arrival of autumn product ranges. Throughout 2020, we have seen clothing and footwear prices follow a different trend compared with previous years, as we recorded increased discounting at the start of lockdown.

The majority of the upward contribution came from women’s garments, where prices fell by 1.7% between June and July 2020, compared with a 4.4% fall between the same two months in 2019. Men’s and children’s clothes had smaller upward contributions to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate but, where menswear followed the same movement as womenswear, prices for children’s clothes rose by 0.1% between June and July 2020 but fell by 2.6% between June and July 2019, with the stand out movements coming from clothes for children aged under four years old and from T-shirts for older boys. There was also a small upward contribution (of 0.02 percentage points) across men’s and women’s footwear.

The second-largest upward contribution (of 0.10 percentage points) came from transport. Most of this movement came from fuels and lubricants. Following falls in petrol and diesel prices in February 2020 and since lockdown started, prices at the pump have started to increase as movement restrictions eased. Between June and July 2020, petrol prices rose by 4.9 pence per litre, to stand at 111.4 pence per litre, and diesel prices rose by 4.0 pence per litre, to stand at 116.7 pence per litre. In comparison, between June and July 2019, petrol and diesel prices fell by 0.9 and 2.3 pence per litre, to stand at 127.3 and 132.0 pence per litre, respectively. This month’s rise in petrol prices was the largest monthly increase since between December 2010 and January 2011, when prices rose by 5.4 pence per litre (to stand at 127.4 pence per litre).

In addition to the upward contribution to the CPIH 12-month rate from fuels and lubricants, there was a small upward contribution (of 0.01 percentage points) from transport services. As government travel restrictions were eased, there were upward contributions from coach and sea fares, where prices rose between June and July 2020 by more than a year ago. These were partially offset by small downward contributions from air and international rail fares. Air fares rose by 9.4% between June and July 2020 compared with a larger increase of 12.0% between the same two months in 2019. Further information about items returning to the collection after being unavailable to consumers can be found in Section 8.

Elsewhere in the transport division, there was a small, partially offsetting downward contribution from the purchase of vehicles, where prices overall were unchanged between June and July 2020 but rose by 0.2% between June and July 2019.

There was also a large upward contribution (of 0.07 percentage points) from furniture and household goods. Prices within this broad group of items, overall, fell by 0.4% between June and July 2020, compared with a 1.7% fall between June and July 2019. The only two stand out items were single beds and bath sheets, which both rose in price between June and July this year but fell in price between the same months a year ago.

A smaller upward contribution (of 0.02 percentage points) came from health, where prices overall rose by 1.0% between June and July this year, compared with a rise of 0.1% a year ago. The effect came almost entirely from private dental examinations and non-NHS physiotherapy sessions, where price collectors reported that prices had risen, in part, as companies make their workplace COVID-secure.

There was a small upward contribution (of 0.02 percentage points) from alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Overall, prices across a range of spirits increased by 0.6% between June and July 2020, but fell by 1.4% in 2019. Prices for cigarettes also rose this year but were little changed a year ago.

Finally, housing and household services had a small upward contribution of 0.02 percentage points. Average charges for registered social landlord (RSL) rents rose between June and July 2020, where they were little changed between the same two months a year ago. There was a partially offsetting downward movement from owner occupiers’ housing (OOH) costs, where charges in England increased this year by less than a year ago.

Elsewhere in the basket of goods and services, within personal care, men’s haircuts rose by 6.1%, women’s cut and blow dries by 4.5%, and women’s highlighting by 3.9%, which are likely to be partially because of covering the costs for personal protective equipment (PPE). These additional PPE costs have been collected in line with international guidance. Together these price increases contributed 0.02 percentage points to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate. However, offsetting downward movements from other items within miscellaneous goods and services meant that overall the division only had a small upward contribution of 0.01 percentage points.

There was a small partially offsetting downward contribution (of 0.03 percentage points) to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate from food and non-alcoholic beverages, with food prices falling by 0.3% this year, compared with a rise of 0.1% a year ago. The effect comprised small movements from a variety of product groups, including fruit, vegetables (including potatoes and tubers), fish, meat, and milk, cheese and eggs. There was a partially offsetting small upward contribution (of 0.01 percentage points) from bread and cereals, where prices of packs of individual cakes, chilled pizzas and breakfast cereals rose this year but fell a year ago.

Overall, there were 12 unavailable items in the CPIH plus a further eight items where prices were available in theory but had to be imputed because few, if any, price quotes could be collected. In total, these had no overall contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate. Most imputed items made no contribution to the change in the headline CPIH inflation rate. The only notable upward contribution (of 0.01 percentage points) came from theatre admissions but this was offset by an equal but opposite downward contribution (of 0.01 percentage points) from live music event admissions.

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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 April 2020, the contribution of housing components to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate fell to its lowest level since November 2010. The fall in contribution in April 2020 was the result of reduced contributions from electricity, gas, liquid fuels, water supply and sewerage collection. In July 2020, the downward contribution to the CPIH 12-month rate from these five items was unchanged (from June 2020) at 0.22 percentage points. However, the contribution of housing components to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate rose by 0.02 percentage points in July, as a result of rises to average charges for registered social landlord (RSL) rents.

Looking across a longer timeframe, the contribution from OOH had been on a downward trend from a high in October 2016. However, it has stabilised since early 2018 and made the largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate from all the housing and household services categories throughout most of 2019 and into 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.

Electricity, gas and other fuels made a negative contribution during 2015 and 2016, but subsequent rises, most notably in electricity prices, saw the contribution turn positive through 2017 and into 2018. Further electricity and gas price rises in summer and autumn 2018 increased their contribution to the CPIH 12-month rate.

The introduction of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets’ (Ofgem’s) initial energy price cap resulted in reduced contributions to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate for January to March 2019. However, the contribution increased in April 2019 as energy providers responded to Ofgem’s subsequent raising of the price cap. There was a negative contribution from electricity, gas and other fuels between October and December 2019, before the price reductions in January 2019 unwound leading to an upward contribution from January 2020.

The latest price cap, introduced on 1 April 2020, saw prices of electricity rise slightly (by 0.2% on the month) and gas prices fall by 3.5%, compared with larger electricity and gas price rises of 10.9% and 9.3%, respectively in April 2019.

The increases in Council Tax that started in 2016 caused its contribution to rise over the following few years, but there was little change when the 2019 increases were introduced in April last year and a slight easing in the contribution in April this year.

The reduction in the contribution from rents between 2016 and 2018 is likely to be a result of a policy to reduce social housing rent. The contribution from rent in total though, has subsequently risen since early 2018.

Other housing costs (namely, regular maintenance and repair, along with water and sewerage services) tend to make small contributions to the 12-month inflation rate. The contribution from water and sewerage services turned negative in April this year when bills were reduced as a result of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) encouraging suppliers to reduce household bills.

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6. Consumer price inflation data

Consumer price inflation tables
Dataset |Released 19 August 2020
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 19 August 2020
Comprehensive database of time series covering measures of inflation data for the UK including 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 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 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 have launched a consultation on the Authority’s proposal to address the shortcomings of the RPI. HM Treasury is consulting on the appropriate timing for the proposed changes to the RPI to take place. The Authority is consulting on how to make its proposed methodological changes to the RPI in a way that follows best statistical practice. The consultation was originally intended to run until 22 April 2020 but, because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the period has been extended to 21 August 2020. The Authority and HM Treasury have agreed that they cannot conclude a meaningful consultation with businesses and individuals focused on mitigating the challenges that this public health and economic emergency has created.

Alongside 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 providing Office for National Statistics (ONS) staff with the opportunity to work from home and to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact. We have an established infrastructure, and these changes will not impact on our ability to produce our Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI) statistics.

For July 2020, as in April to June, 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 140 locations in the UK. Looking ahead, our price collectors will be able to resume in-store collections for the August 2020 index (due to be published on 16 September 2020), which is detailed in our Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection article. The approach for resuming in-store collections is consistent with Eurostat advice, published in their Guidance note on HICP issues emerging from the lifting of lockdown measures (PDF, 389KB).

For the July price collection, we identified several previously unavailable items, that were available to consumers, as government guidance on some services has been relaxed. These included items in the catering, transport services, accommodation services, and package holiday groupings. The number of goods or services unavailable to consumers fell to 12 (accounting for 1.3% of the CPIH basket by weight) across the CPIH basket of goods and services. This is a substantial reduction from the 67 unavailable items for June, and the 74 and 90 unavailable items for May and April, respectively. The list of unavailable items in July, and the changes to the list from June, 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.

It should be noted that, following the publication of the Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices article, we changed the seasonality of the imputation methodology applied to four items to seasonal items, from non seasonal. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by these changes not being reflected in Annex B of the article. The affected items are (in item number order):

  • NHS dental charges (520327)
  • Admission to historic monuments (640211)
  • Football admissions (640221)
  • Part-time leisure classes (640228)

Overall, the number of price quotes that are usually collected in store and that are used in constructing the July 2020 indices was 80.7% 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 July to the February 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 July 2020 was 82.0% of the comparable coverage collected previously (excluding unavailable items).

Since the weighted coverage is based on available items, for this calculation, there is an increase to both the number of price quotes each month and in the base month, as items become available for consumers.

With the holiday items being included in the July collection, we have based their coverage on the equivalent coverage in the same month last year. This was more appropriate for the coverage of holidays as the number of quotes collected in the summer months will always be greater than in February. Had we continued to base our coverage figures on February, we would have seen an increase in coverage of 1.1% percentage points from June.

Despite the decrease in overall coverage, this month’s CPIH index is based on an additional 8,800 price quotes compared with June 2020.

For July 2020, in addition to the 12 unavailable items in the CPIH basket, we identified a further eight items where, although available in theory, the proportion of price quotes collected was below 20%. For these eight items, where price collection had proved largely impossible, we imputed their price movement. The categories, where the number of price quotes used in constructing the indices is less than half the number used in February, 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 have shared our plan with the Bank of England, and they have determined that none of the planned 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

This month, in addition to the alternative basket analysis, we will publish an experimental series that updates the CPIH and CPI monthly through April to June 2020 to account for changing consumption patterns. This is published as the Prices economic analysis, quarterly: August 2020.

We have updated our Consumer prices alternative basket analysis: July 2020, which explores different methods of dealing with unavailable goods and services in consumer price inflation measurement.

Eat Out to Help Out and reduction in VAT announcement

Following the Chancellor’s announcement of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to encourage people to return to eating out, we can confirm we will reflect this discount within the consumer price inflation measures for August 2020. We collect the price for a range of restaurant items, for example, a pub hot meal, restaurant main course and restaurant sweet course so, once confirming that the sampled restaurant or pub is participating in the scheme, we would intend to apply the discount to individual items.

In Section 9.2, Subsidies and discounts, of the Consumer Price Indices Technical Manual, 2019, we state that “discounted and subsidised prices are only recorded if available to anyone with no conditions of sale, otherwise the non-discounted or unsubsidised price is recorded”. We want to ensure that the prices used in calculating consumer price indices are those actually paid by households. In this instance, the discount will be applied to all eligible items (meals and non-alcoholic beverages) available for consumption on the premises (that is, not takeaway food).

Having discussed the application of the discount at our Technical Advisory Panel for Consumer Price Statistics (APCP-T), we will be applying a reduced rate of discount to individual eligible items to reflect the fact the price is only discounted between Monday and Wednesday. The methodology that we will be using is detailed in the Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection article.

Having reviewed the basket of goods and services, we have calculated that approximately 2.5% of the CPIH basket (which rises to 3.1% for the CPI) will have the discount applied.

We will also reflect any change in price resulting from the temporary Value Added Tax (VAT) reduction for food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation and attractions in the consumer price inflation measures. Further details on the application of the temporary reduction in VAT in the August price collection can also be found in the Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection article.

CPIHY, CPIY and CPI-CT series

For the July 2020 publication, we have reinstated the publication of some supplementary series, which we were forced to postpone as a direct result of the challenges that we encountered because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and our focus on ensuring that we continue to publish our consumer price statistics.

The complete backseries for the following series can be found in Tables 32 to 34b of the Consumer price inflation dataset:

  • the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs excluding indirect taxes (CPIHY)
  • the Consumer Prices Index excluding indirect taxes (CPIY)
  • the Consumer Prices Index at constant tax rates (CPI-CT)

Reinstatement of the UK House Price Index

The UK House Price Index (HPI) has now been reinstated, starting with the publication of the April 2020 estimate. In order to catch up, the UK HPI will be published every fortnight until the regular publication of the August 2020 index in October. For the July 2020 estimate of RPI, we have calculated the housing element using the April 2020 arithmetic mean estimate. Normally, the June house price would be used in the July RPI (as the HPI usually lags the RPI by a single month) but during the lockdown period, we have used the latest available estimate, which for July is the April house price.

In the future, we will ensure that the production of the HPI will have caught up in time for September’s RPI estimate (published on 21 October 2020) to be based on the August 2020 HPI.

Further details on the reinstatement of the UK HPI are outlined in the UK House Price Index to return article.

Changes to the detailed briefing note

The consumer price inflation detailed briefing note is a background briefing published alongside this statistical bulletin. The note contains details of the items contributing to the changes in the CPIH (and RPI), details of any notable movements, a summary of the reconciliation of CPIH and RPI, and the outlook, which looks ahead to next month’s release.

Next month, the briefing note will transfer to a Microsoft Excel format, in place of the current pdf format. This change is required to support ONS’s commitment to improving the accessibility of our data. This month’s briefing note has been produced in both formats with the new Excel file available to download. We would welcome any feedback you may have on the new format. Please email any comments to cpi@ons.gov.uk.

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 consumer price statistics in line with the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics and in accordance with internationally agreed statistical guidance and standards.

These currently include the standard international Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) system, developed by the UN Statistical Division, and for the CPI, the rules underlying the construction of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), developed by Eurostat in conjunction with EU member states and European Economic Area countries.

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 2020 onwards, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we have 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.

The figures in this publication use data collected on or around 14 July 2020.

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

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

Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices details our plans for data collection, compilation and publication of our various prices statistics following movement restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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 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) gives an explanation of 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 that we currently publish and those that are 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 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 Retail Prices Index 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 8:00am on release day): +44 (0)800 0113703