Consumer price inflation, UK: May 2022

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

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Cyswllt:
Email Philip Gooding

Dyddiad y datganiad:
22 June 2022

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
20 July 2022

1. Main points

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) rose by 7.9% in the 12 months to May 2022, up from 7.8% in April.
  • The largest upward contributions to the annual CPIH inflation rate in May 2022 came from housing and household services (2.79 percentage points, principally from electricity, gas and other fuels, and owner occupiers' housing costs) and transport (1.50 percentage points, principally from motor fuels and second-hand cars).
  • On a monthly basis, CPIH rose by 0.6% in May 2022, compared with a rise of 0.5% in May 2021.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 9.1% in the 12 months to May 2022, up from 9.0% in April.

  • On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.7% in May 2022, compared with a rise of 0.6% in May 2021.

  • Rising prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, compared with falls a year ago, resulted in the largest upward contribution to the change in both the CPIH and CPI 12-month inflation rates between April and May 2022 (0.17 percentage points for CPIH).

  • The largest offsetting downward contributions to change in the rates were from recreation and culture (0.10 percentage points for CPIH) and clothing and footwear (0.08 percentage points for CPIH).
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2. Consumer price inflation rates

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) rose by 7.9% in the 12 months to May 2022, up from 7.8% in April. This is the highest recorded 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistic series, which began in January 2006. The rate was last higher in the constructed historic estimates in April 1991 when it stood at 8.0%.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 9.1% in the 12 months to May 2022, up from 9.0% in April. This is the highest CPI 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistic series, which began in January 1997. Indicative modelled consumer price inflation estimates suggest that CPI would last have been higher around 1982, where estimates range from nearly 11% in January down to approximately 6.5% in December.

On a monthly basis, CPIH rose by 0.6% in May 2022, compared with a rise of 0.5% in the same month a year earlier. The CPI monthly rate was 0.7%, compared with 0.6% in May 2021. Rising prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages resulted in the largest upward contribution to the monthly rates in May 2022. In May 2021, the main upward contributions to the monthly rates came from clothing and footwear, and recreation and culture.

Given that the owner occupiers' housing costs (OOH) component accounts for around 17% of the CPIH, it is the main driver for differences between the CPIH and CPI inflation rates. The inclusion of Council Tax and rates in CPIH is the only further difference in coverage. This makes CPIH our most comprehensive measure of inflation and, therefore, the commentary in this bulletin focusses on CPIH. While the coverage differs, the key drivers of the 12-month inflation rate are the same where they are common to both measures. Section 5 is intended to focus on the elements of the basket that are unique to CPIH.

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3. Contributions to the annual CPIH 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. Together, the contributions from housing and household services, and transport, account for 4.29 percentage points, which is more than half of the CPIH 12-month inflation rate for May 2022. Their combined weight comprises 42.5% of the CPIH basket.

Housing and household services

Housing and household services contributed 2.79 percentage points to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in May 2022. This was the largest contribution from any division this month, and the largest contribution from housing and household services in the National Statistic series. (The series begins in January 2006, contributions data are not available in the earlier constructed historical series between 1989 and 2005.) The contribution rose significantly in April 2022 as a result of price rises for gas and electricity following the increase in the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) cap on energy prices on 1 April 2022. This followed an earlier rise in the price cap on 1 October 2021.

The Ofgem energy price caps limit the price energy suppliers can charge the estimated 15 million households that either use a prepayment meter or are on the "standard variable" energy (or default) tariff. They currently update the energy price caps twice a year, in April and October, and on 3 February, Ofgem announced the cap levels for the period from 1 April to 30 September 2022. They said that "Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017. The increase is driven by a record rise in global gas prices over the last six months, with wholesale prices quadrupling in the last year". The rise resulted in 12-month inflation rates of 53.5% for electricity and 95.5% for gas in April. These are unchanged in May leading to a contribution to the 12-month rate of 1.87 percentage points from electricity, gas and other fuels in total.

Elsewhere within housing and household services, owner occupiers' housing costs rose by 3.0% in the year to May 2022. This was the largest 12-month rate in the National Statistic series, which began in January 2006, and the largest since April 1999 in the earlier historical constructed series, when it was 3.2%. The May 2022 rate resulted in a contribution of 0.54 percentage points to the CPIH annual inflation rate.

Transport

Over the past two years, the contribution from transport has varied from a downward contribution of 0.18 percentage points in June 2020 (during the first coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown) to an upward contribution of 1.50 percentage points in May 2022. This is up from 1.47 percentage points in April and is the largest contribution from transport in the National Statistics series, which began in January 2006.

Within transport, the movement has mainly been caused by changes in the price of motor fuels. This category made a downward contribution to the 12-month rate between March 2020 and February 2021, before the contribution turned positive in March 2021 and subsequently increased to 0.74 percentage points in May 2022. This is the largest contribution since July 2008, when it was also 0.74 percentage points.

Average petrol prices stood at 165.9 pence per litre in May 2022, compared with 127.2 pence per litre a year earlier. The May 2022 price is the highest recorded. The average price of diesel in May 2022, which was 179.7 pence per litre, was also the highest on record. The 12-month rate for motor fuels was 32.8%, the highest since before the start of the constructed historical series in January 1989.

The contribution from second-hand cars has also changed over recent years. For example, it rose from an upward 0.01 percentage points in April 2021 to 0.36 percentage points in February and March 2022, before falling back to 0.25 percentage points in May 2022.

The increase from April 2021 came when there were reports of increased demand, with a global semiconductor shortage affecting the production of new cars, resulting in consumers turning to the used car market. Additionally, there were reportedly concerns in the trade about the supply of second-hand cars because of a variety of factors. These include fewer one-year-old cars coming to the market because of a fall in new car registrations a year earlier, and the extensions of lease contracts and fewer part exchanges caused again by delays in new-car supply. The March 2022 prices economic analysis considered further the growth in second-hand car prices.

Other divisions

Three other divisions made contributions of 0.6 percentage points or more to the CPIH annual rate. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 8.7% in the year to May 2022, resulting in a contribution of 0.78 percentage points to the all-items rate. This was the largest contribution from this division since March 2009.

The contribution from restaurants and hotels was 0.64 percentage points in May 2022, unchanged from April. These contributions were 0.01 percentage points lower than the previous largest contribution of 0.65 percentage points, which occurred in August 2021. The contribution for that period was influenced by the reduced prices recorded in August 2020 as a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance rose by 11.0% in the year to May 2022. The resulting contribution of 0.60 percentage points was the highest from this division in the National Statistic series, which began in January 2006.

While CPIH includes extra housing components not included in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the largest contributions to the CPI 12-month rate were from the same five divisions that made the largest contributions to the CPIH 12-month rate. Figure 3 shows the extent to which the different categories of goods and services have contributed to the overall CPI 12-month inflation rate over the last two years.

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4. Contributions to change in the annual CPIH inflation rate between April and May 2022

Figure 4 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 April and May 2022. The corresponding figures for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) can be found in Figure 5 or in column F of Table 26 in the Consumer price inflation dataset.

The rise in the CPIH annual rate for May 2022 was driven by upward contributions to change from 5 of the 12 divisions, with the largest contribution of 0.17 percentage points coming from food and non-alcoholic beverages. There were large, offsetting, downward contributions to change from recreation and culture, and clothing and footwear.

Similarly, the rise in the CPI annual rate for May 2022 was driven by upward contributions to change from 5 of the 12 divisions, with the largest contribution of 0.22 percentage points coming from food and non-alcoholic beverages. The largest, offsetting, downward contributions to change were again from recreation and culture, and clothing and footwear.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages

The largest upward contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate came from food and non-alcoholic beverages. Overall, prices rose by 1.5% between April and May 2022, compared with a fall of 0.3% between the same two months a year ago. The upward movement was broad-based, with upward contributions from 7 of the 11 detailed classes. The largest contributions were from bread and cereals, and meat. Prices rose in both classes this year, compared with falls a year ago, with small upward effects from the majority of items in the classes. The only class with a small, partially offsetting, downward contribution was fruit, where prices were little changed this year but rose a year ago.

Transport

There was a smaller upward contribution to change (of 0.03 percentage points) from transport. Overall, prices rose by 0.6% between April and May 2022, compared with a smaller rise of 0.3% between the same months a year ago. The main upward effect came from motor fuels. Average petrol prices rose by 4.1 pence per litre in May this year, compared with a smaller rise of 1.7 pence per litre a year ago. Diesel prices moved similarly, with a rise of 3.6 pence per litre this year, compared with 1.5 pence per litre a year ago.

Within transport, there was an offsetting, downward contribution from second-hand cars, where prices fell this year but rose a year ago. In 2021, there were reports of increased demand, combined with reports of restricted supply.

Furniture and household goods

Rising prices for furniture and household goods led to an increase of 0.03 percentage points in the overall CPIH 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2022. Prices rose by 1.1% on the month in 2022, compared with a smaller rise of 0.8% a year earlier. The upward contribution comprised small effects from across furniture and furnishings (principally bedroom furniture), household textiles and glassware, tableware and household utensils.

Housing and household services

There was also a small 0.03 percentage point upward contribution from housing and household services, where prices rose by more this year than in 2021. Small upward effects came from owner occupiers’ housing costs, liquid fuels and rents.

Recreation and culture

The largest, partially offsetting, downward contribution to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate of 0.10 percentage points came from recreation and culture. Games, toys and hobbies contributed 0.08 percentage points to the change, with overall prices falling by 2.4% this year, compared with a rise of 2.8% a year earlier. The movement largely reflects price changes for computer games, particularly computer game downloads. Price movements for computer games can sometimes be large, in part depending on the composition of bestseller charts, so short-term movements need to be interpreted with caution.

Within this division, there was a smaller downward contribution of 0.02 percentage points from equipment for the reception and reproduction of sound and pictures, where prices of televisions fell this year but rose a year ago.

Clothing and footwear

There was a further offsetting downward contribution (of 0.08 percentage points) to the change in the rate from clothing and footwear. Prices rose by 1.1% this year but rose by a larger 2.3% a year ago. Last year’s rise was higher than usual for the time of year. It was influenced by a large fall in the amount of discounting recorded in the dataset as the country continued to open following the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in the first quarter of 2021. The effect came from women’s clothing and, to a lesser extent, men’s clothing and footwear.

Unavailable items

For items that were unavailable (based on government guidelines) in the early part of 2021, there were no January base prices. As these items became available again, base prices were imputed in line with the procedures described in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021 article.

For the first month in which they became available again, item indices were imputed using either the monthly movement or, for a smaller number of seasonal items, the annual movement in the all-available-items index. The aim was that the indices for returning items had a negligible impact on the all-items inflation rate in the first month of return. This reflects the fact that these services were available only as price levels and did not have price growth associated with them (relative to the January base). Collected prices then started to influence the index in the following month.

Restrictions began easing from 12 April 2021 and, since August 2021, there are no items across the CPIH basket of goods and services that are unavailable to consumers.

However, the 12-month rate depends on prices collected in both 2022 and 2021. In May 2021, national restrictions were easing in the UK, leaving 27 CPIH items unavailable to UK consumers. The list of unavailable items is shown in Table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset.

A number of items affected by lockdown restrictions in 2021 have contributed to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2022. These items were imputed in April and May 2021, reflecting their unavailability for consumption. For more information, please refer to the Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices article.

Contributions to change from affected items are generally small (less than or equal to 0.02 percentage points in magnitude). In aggregate, the effect was to increase the CPIH 12-month inflation rate by 0.02 percentage points between April and May 2022, and to increase the CPI rate, also, by 0.02 percentage points. The contribution to the 12-month inflation rate in May 2022 for these items was 0.36 percentage points in CPIH and 0.41 percentage points in CPI.

Figure 5 shows how each of the main groups of goods and services contributed to the change in the CPI 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2022.

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5. Owner occupiers’ housing costs

Figure 6 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 May 2022, the contribution of housing and household services in total to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate was 2.79 percentage points, a rise of 0.03 percentage points from April. The May figure was the highest in the National Statistic series, which began in January 2006.

The relatively high contribution to the rate in the latest two months came mainly from electricity, gas and other fuels, and is discussed in more detail in section 3.

OOH’s contribution to the CPIH annual inflation rate increased from 0.53 to 0.54 percentage points between April and May 2022, increasing the annual rate by 0.01 percentage points. This is as a result of costs increasing by 0.3% on the month compared with a smaller rise of 0.2% a year earlier. Actual rentals have also contributed 0.01 percentage points to the change in the 12-month CPIH inflation rate.

The contribution to the annual rate from Council Tax remained at 0.11 percentage points in May 2022, and therefore made no contribution to the change. In April 2022, a £150 non-repayable Council Tax Rebate payment was provided to all households that are liable for Council Tax in Bands A to D in England. There was also further funding available for households that need support but are not eligible, and for the devolved countries to administer to non-England households. This rebate was out of scope of CPIH and therefore not reflected in the figures (more information is provided in section 8).

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6. Consumer price inflation data

Consumer price inflation tables
Dataset | Released 22 June 2022
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 22 June 2022
Comprehensive database of time series covering measures of inflation data for the UK including the CPIH, CPI and RPI.

Consumer price inflation detailed briefing note
Dataset | Released 22 June 2022
The consumer price inflation detailed briefing 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.

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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 or annual 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)

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 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. 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 data time series.

Retail Prices Index (RPI)

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 data time series section of the inflation and price indices area of our website.

The UK Statistics Authority and HM Treasury launched a consultation in 2020 on the authority's proposal to address the shortcomings of the RPI. From 2030 (at the earliest), as outlined in the UK Statistics Authority response to the consultation, the CPIH methods and data sources will be introduced into the RPI. Additionally, the supplementary and lower-level indices of the RPI will be discontinued.

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8. Measuring the data

Analysis of least cost grocery items

On 30 May 2022, we published Tracking the price of the lowest-cost grocery items, UK, experimental analysis: April 2021 to April 2022. For this one-off project, we exploited in-house webscraped data to investigate the price movements for a sample of 30 everyday grocery items, which are commonly bought by households on low incomes. The sample contained a range of products from pasta or rice to milk or frozen vegetables. For each item, the price of the cheapest product was selected from online shops.

The highly experimental results showed that the lowest-priced items increased in cost by a similar amount to average food and non-alcoholic drinks prices, around 6% to 7% over the 12 months to April 2022. However, there is considerable variation in price movements across the 30 items.

Treatment of the energy bill package

On 3 February 2022, the UK government announced an Energy Bills Rebate package to help households to manage rising energy bills. The details of the rebate are described as follows.

  • "A £200 discount on their energy bill this Autumn for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain. This will be paid back automatically over the next 5 years.

  • A £150 non-repayable Council Tax Rebate payment for all households that are liable for Council Tax in Bands A-D in England.

  • £144 million of discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax Rebate.

  • The devolved administrations are receiving around £715 million funding through the Barnett formula as usual where UK Government support doesn't cover Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland."

Decisions on whether to include rebates, subsidies and discounts in our consumer price inflation statistics are not clear cut and are taken on a case-by-case basis. We aim to be consistent with the National Accounts, the Public Sector Finances, and other economic statistics. Decisions are based on international statistical guidance and practical considerations. More information on this is provided in section 9.2 of our Consumer Price Indices Technical Manual.

The formal Economic Statistics Classification decision on the recording of the Council Tax rebate scheme in England (the second component of the rebate) in the National Accounts and the Public Sector Finances statistics was announced on 28 February 2022 in the Classification of the Council Tax rebate in England. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) concluded that there is no reduction to Council Tax liability and, in accordance with the international guidance, the Council Tax rebate in England should therefore be classified as a payable tax credit. This is specifically a current transfer, paid by central government to households. The available information from the devolved regions is that, where the support packages have been administered, this has been done in a similar way. The implication of this for consumer price inflation is that the rebate is not part of household expenditure. It should therefore be treated as out of scope of the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) and Retail Prices Index (RPI). Council Tax is not included in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

The third component — discretionary funding to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax rebate — is out of scope, as the support is discretionary by definition. It does not represent a payment for a good or service and, as such, has no price associated with it.

On 26 May 2022, the UK government announced a Cost of Living Support package. Part of this package replaced the £200 discount on energy bills, the first component of the Energy Bills Rebate package. The new announcement said the following.

  • "Households will get £400 of support with their energy bills through an expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

  • As well as doubling the £200 of support announced earlier this year, the full £400 payment will now be made as a grant, which will not be recovered through higher bills in future years."

The Economic Statistics Classification assessment of this will be made when more information becomes available following publication of the government response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Energy Bills Support Scheme consultation in summer 2022. Once the classification decision has been made, we will consider whether it affects consumer price inflation statistics (CPIH, CPI and RPI) and, if so, how the treatment can be consistently incorporated into those statistics.

Consumer price inflation historical estimates, UK, 1950 to 1988

On 18 May 2022 we published historical estimates of consumer price inflation covering the period from 1950 to 1988. This includes new estimates of CPIH over the period, and improved estimates of CPI.

Previously, in December 2018, the ONS published an extended CPIH historical series covering the period from 1989 to 2005. This extended series is an official statistic rather than a National Statistic, reflecting the historical uncertainty around the backcasts. However, there was a user need for a longer series, and we have therefore published indicative estimates back to 1950 for CPIH divisions. The 1950 to 1988 estimates are indicative, and are for analytical purposes only. They are not intended for official use.

As part of this publication, we have also modelled new indicative estimates for the CPI between 1950 and 1988. These updated models account for changes in the modelled CPI historical series between 1989 and 1996, previously identified. This only affected modelled estimates and did not constitute part of the CPI National Statistic series. The changes were introduced when the CPIH historical series was published, and users now have a consistent set of modelled indices. For more information, please see the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) historical series: 1988 to 2004 article. The updated CPI estimates also have broader coverage than those previously published.

Personal inflation calculator

To assist individuals in understanding how the rise in inflation affects their expenditure, we have published a personal inflation calculator. It enables consumers to enter the amounts they spend against different categories, and the calculator will provide an estimate of their personal inflation based on those spending patterns.

Weights for consumer price inflation statistics in 2022

In line with usual practice at the start of each year, the expenditure weights used in compiling the CPIH and CPI have been calculated using updated spending information. Normally this would be national accounts Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) data lagged by two years. However, in 2021 we made further adjustments to incorporate some of the larger changes in spending patterns seen between 2019 and 2020. More information is provided in the article, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Consumer Price Inflation weights and prices: 2021. This approach was consistent with Eurostat's international guidance on the compilation of HICP weights in case of large changes in consumer expenditures (PDF, 135KB). The guidance stipulated that "the expenditure shares used for the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) in year t should be representative of year t-1. This is in line with the overall Laspeyres philosophy of the HICP".

For this year's weights update we adopted a similar approach. We estimated a 2021 dataset by taking the most up to date HFCE data available (quarters 1 to 3, second estimate, available in Consumer trends, UK: July to September 2021) and imputing the fourth quarter based on the 2019 seasonal growth. We used the same threshold as in the previous year (25%) to identify Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) classes where there were large changes in spending levels between 2020 and 2021. For these classes, we replaced the usual 2020 data with the 2021 estimate. Also, this year, we gave consideration to classes below the threshold that tended to contain a larger number of basket items that were unavailable because of coronavirus lockdowns (see Table 58 of the Consumer price inflation dataset). Our approach is consistent with the latest international guidance.

The COICOP classes that have been adjusted were detailed in the article, Consumer price inflation, updating weights: 2022, alongside an explanation of the latest movements. As with last year, we made no changes to the weighting scheme for the RPI.

Economic statistics governance after EU exit

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, new governance arrangements are being put in place that will support the adoption and implementation of high-quality standards for UK economic statistics. These governance arrangements will promote international comparability and add to the credibility and independence of the UK’s statistical system.

At the centre of this new governance framework will be the new National Statistician’s Committee for Advice on Standards for Economic Statistics (NSCASE). NSCASE will support the UK by ensuring its processes for influencing and adopting international statistical standards are world leading. The advice NSCASE provides to the National Statistician will span the full range of domains in economic statistics. These include the National Accounts, fiscal statistics, prices, trade and the balance of payments and labour market statistics.

Making our published spreadsheets accessible

We have published sample versions of a selection of consumer price inflation tables following the Government Statistical Service (GSS) guidance on releasing statistics in spreadsheets. It is essential that we aim to improve the usability, accessibility and machine readability of our published statistics so that everyone can make use of them. We have published these one-off sample tables to help communicate the changes we will be making to the consumer price inflation tables over the coming months. When we change to the new format, there will be a period where we will publish the tables in both the new and current formats. This will be along with a mapper to help users to find the information they require in the new format tables. If you have any questions or comments on these sample tables, please email cpi@ons.gov.uk.

Coronavirus

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been challenges around our collection activities. This is because 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. In April 2021, for example, we were unable to collect prices in store. However, we resumed in-store collections from May 2021 following the approach detailed in the methodology article, Consumer price statistics: resuming a field-based price collection. For May 2022, approximately 99% of prices were collected in store with the remainder not collected because, for example, of store closures.

The approach for resuming in-store collections was consistent with Eurostat advice, published in their Guidance note on HICP issues emerging from the lifting of lockdown measures (PDF, 388KB).

The article, Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices, describes the approach taken for imputing price movements for items that were unavailable for consumers to purchase.

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. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we collected all prices centrally in April 2021, but our price collectors have resumed in-store collections from May 2021.

The figures in this publication use data collected on or around 17 May 2022.

The article, Consumer price indices, a brief guide, gives an overview of consumer price statistics, while the Consumer Prices Indices Technical Manual covers the concepts and methodologies underpinning the indices in more detail.

The CPIH Compendium provides a comprehensive source of information on the CPIH, focusing on the approach to measuring owner occupiers' housing costs.

The Users and uses of consumer price inflation statistics methodology article includes information on the users and uses of these statistics, and the characteristics of the different measures of 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 in Measuring changing prices and costs for consumers and households, proposed updates: March 2020.

The three cases refer firstly to the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) as our lead measure of inflation based on economic principles. They also refer to 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. The article, Shortcomings of the RPI as a measure of inflation, describes the issues with the RPI.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

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