Consumer price inflation, UK: November 2020

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:
16 December 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
20 January 2021

1. Main points

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 0.6% in November 2020, down from 0.9% in October 2020.

  • The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in November 2020 came from recreation and culture (0.24 percentage points).

  • Falling prices for clothing, and food and non-alcoholic beverages resulted in the largest downward contributions (of 0.17 and 0.09 percentage points respectively) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between October and November 2020.

  • These were partially offset by upward contributions from games, toys and hobbies, and accommodation services.

  • As a result of the increased restrictions caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 72 CPIH items were identified as unavailable in November, accounting for 13.9% of the basket by weight; the number has increased from eight in October but is down from 90 in April, the first full month of lockdown; for November, we collected a weighted total of 83.8% of comparable coverage collected before the first lockdown (excluding unavailable items).

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 0.3% in November 2020, down from 0.7% in October.

  • 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) 12-month inflation rate was 0.6% in November 2020, down from 0.9% in October 2020.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month inflation rate was 0.3% in November 2020, down from 0.7% in October.

The CPIH and CPI both fell by 0.1% between October and November 2020, compared with rises of 0.2% between the same two months of 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.

The contributions from most broad groups eased between October and November 2020. In November, clothing and footwear, and food and non-alcoholic beverages made downward contributions to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate.

The contribution from clothing and footwear to the headline rate has mostly been negative over the last two years. Within years, 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.

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, probably in response to the lockdown, then prices were relatively stable (compared with previous years) to August. Between August and October, prices broadly increased as usual, but this has been followed by a fall between October and November, whereas prices tend to rise between these two months. This latest fall reflects increased discounting compared with last month.

The contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate from food and non-alcoholic beverages has usually been positive over the last four years but data for November 2020 showed the largest negative contribution from the group since January 2017. This reflects an overall price fall of 0.5% in the year to November 2020. The negative contributions came from a variety of product groups including vegetables and confectionery.

During the last two years, the contribution from transport has shown more variation than any other group, ranging from an upward contribution of 0.59 percentage points in November 2018 to a downward contribution of 0.20 percentage points in May 2020. However, the contribution from transport has been comparatively stable over the latest three months, with the 12-month inflation rate for the group at or just above 1.0%.

Much of the movement over the two-year period comes from changes in the price of motor fuels, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, though contributions from air fares and second-hand cars have also changed noticeably over the period. In November 2020, the largest individual contribution to the 12-month rate was a downward one (of 0.25 percentage points) from motor fuels. Average petrol prices stood at 112.6 pence per litre, down from 125.5 pence per litre in November 2019. Similarly, diesel prices were 117.4 pence per litre in November this year, compared with 130.3 pence per litre a year ago.

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 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 – unlike the March to April falls observed in recent years – partly as a result of the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The contribution from recreation and culture has fluctuated since then, partly dependent on price movements for computer games and consoles both in 2020 and the equivalent months in 2019. In October 2020, the contribution from recreation and culture fell to 0.26 percentage points and fell slightly further to 0.24 percentage points in November.

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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 October and November 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 downward contribution (of 0.20 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate, between October and November 2020, came from clothing and footwear. Prices overall fell by 2.6% between October and November 2020, compared with a rise of 1.0% between the same two months a year ago. Prices usually rise between these two months but price movements across 2020 have been unusual compared with previous years and appear to have been affected by the coronavirus lockdowns. The price fall in November this year reflects increased discounting and there have been media reports that some Black Friday sales may have spread further across the month.

Within clothing and footwear, most of the downward contribution (0.09 percentage points) came from women’s clothing but there was also a downward contribution of 0.06 percentage points from men’s clothing. Other categories, such as footwear, had smaller downward effects.

There was also a large downward contribution (0.09 percentage points) from food and non-alcoholic beverages, where prices fell by 0.2% between October and November this year, compared with a rise of 0.8% a year ago. The effect came from across a wide range of food and drink categories, but particularly sugar confectionery, vegetables and meat, from products such as large bars of chocolate, ice cream, cauliflower, premium potato crisps and cooked ham.

Other downward contributions were smaller, with, for example, transport having a downward effect of 0.04 percentage points. This movement came principally from used cars, where prices fell this year but rose a year ago. The fall goes against the trend of price rises seen over recent months, which were reported to be because of increased demand for used cars as people sought alternatives to public transport.

Within transport, there were offsetting effects coming from air and sea transport. As a result of travel restrictions in place during November, the price movement between October and November of some items has been imputed with the all-items CPI annual growth rate (for available items) being used for these categories as outlined in Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices.

Miscellaneous goods and services had a downward effect of 0.03 percentage points. Prices overall were little changed between October and November this year, compared with a rise a year ago. There were small downward effects from a few categories within this group, most notably from personal effects, where prices of luggage and ladies’ bags fell this year.

A small downward contribution of 0.02 percentage points from recreation and culture masks larger divergent contributions from some components. A large upward contribution from games, toys and hobbies, as prices of computer games and some traditional toys rose, was more than offset by downward contributions from a variety of other product groups, including books.

The largest upward contribution (of 0.09 percentage points) to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between October and November came from restaurants and hotels. Prices, overall, were estimated to have risen by 0.7% between October and November 2020, compared with a fall of 0.2% between the same two months a year ago.

Within this group, there were diverse contributions coming from differing categories. There was a large upward effect (of 0.14 percentage points) coming from accommodation services (from overnight hotel accommodation) partially offset by a downward effect (of 0.05 percentage points) coming from catering services, which includes restaurants and cafes, and canteens. As a result of lockdowns and other restrictions in place during December, the price movements for many items in the restaurants and hotels category 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.

The number of CPIH items that were unavailable to UK consumers in November rose to 72 from 8 in October. In total, these items had an upward contribution of 0.06 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. By far, the largest upward contribution (of 0.14 percentage points) came from overnight hotel accommodation while there were partially offsetting, smaller downward contributions from a wide range of items in the catering services, package holidays and sea fares parts of the basket.

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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 November 2020, the contribution of housing components to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate fell to its lowest level (0.15 percentage points) since November 2010, albeit it is only slightly lower than the contribution in October 2020 and other months this year. The contribution has been relatively low since April 2020 as a result of reduced contributions from electricity, gas, liquid fuels, water supply and sewerage collection. The small downward movement between the latest two months has been caused by a slight easing in the contribution from 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 then a negative contribution between October and December 2019, before the price reductions in January 2019 unwound leading to an upward contribution from January 2020.

The introduction of the April 2020 Ofgem price cap resulted in a further negative contribution as prices of electricity rose slightly (by 0.2% on the month) and gas prices fell by 3.5%, compared with larger electricity and gas price rises of 10.9% and 9.3% respectively in April 2019. The latest energy price cap (PDF, 354KB), introduced on 1 October 2020, saw another reduction in the contribution from gas and electricity, with prices falling by 12.3% and 3.2%, respectively, between September and October 2020. Prices fell by 8.7% for gas and 2.2% for electricity between the same two months a year ago.

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 16 December 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 16 December 2020
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. HM Treasury consulted on the appropriate timing for the proposed changes to the RPI to take place. The Authority consulted on how to make its proposed methodological changes to the RPI in a way that follows best statistical practice.

The response to the consultation was published on 25 November 2020, alongside the Spending Review. 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, in order 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 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 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, 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.

In November, the government 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, we reverted to full central collection for all 141 UK locations using a combination of internet, email and phone.

We identified 72 goods and services across the CPIH basket of goods and services that were unavailable to consumers in November, accounting for 13.9% of the CPIH basket by weight. This is below the 90 unavailable items for April but is a large increase from the eight items in October. The list of unavailable items in November, 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.

It should be noted that following the publication of the Coronavirus and the effects on UK prices article, we changed the imputation methodology applied to four items from a non-seasonal to a seasonal method. 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 November 2020 indices was 70.4% 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 November with 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 November 2020 was 83.8% of the comparable coverage collected before the first lockdown (excluding unavailable items).

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.

For December’s collection, again 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 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.

We have therefore based the December list of unavailable items on England Tier 2 restrictions. According to the weights used on the CPIH sampling frame, this level of restrictions is associated with the greatest level of UK turnover. Although England Tier 3 restrictions also carry a significant (but smaller) weight, we favour areas where there are fewer restrictions, as items that are on the Tier 2 list but not on the Tier 3 list are still available for purchase in some areas of the UK. Moreover, Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions are reasonably varied across England, mitigating for any regional biases.

Items that are unavailable in England Tier 2, but which are available in England Tier 1 or in the devolved nations, carry a small weight in the overall CPIH basket because of small location weights and item weights. Including these movements would mean that the index would be inappropriately influenced by very low weight items.

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 in February 2021.

Annual updating of weights

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 considered whether to change the procedures for 2021. In line with European guidance, 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. We will publish an article in January describing the procedures in more detail.

Consultation on changes to the Retail Prices Index

The UK Statistics Authority recently ran a joint consultation with HM Treasury on changes to the Retail Prices Index methodology. The response to the consultation was published on 25 November 2020, alongside the Spending Review. 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, in order 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.

End of EU exit transition period

After the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the UK statistical system will continue to collect and produce our wide range of economic and social statistics. We are committed to continued alignment with international statistical standards, enabling comparability both over time and internationally and we will work with users of statistics to make sure they have the data they need to support the decisions they have to make.

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 in early 2021.

Pre-release access

The Bank of England was granted exceptional pre-release access to an estimate of consumer price inflation data at 8:30am on Monday 14 December 2020 so that the data were available for the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on that day. The letters requesting and agreeing to pre-release are available at Exchange of letters between the ONS, Bank of England and HM Revenue and Customs for an amendment to exceptional pre-release access.

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 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, the government 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, we returned to full central collections for all 141 UK locations using a combination of internet, email and phone.

The figures in this publication use data collected on or around 10 November 2020.

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 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 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

Philip Gooding
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