UK inflation finally drops below 10% - but Britons hit by huge food price rise
Published: 24/05/2023- 07:19
Updated: 24/05/2023- 08:39
Inflation has eased back to its lowest level since March last year, but remained higher than expected as food prices continued to rise at the fastest rate in nearly 45 years.
The rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation has decreased to 8.7 per cent in April from 10.1 per cent in March, the Office for National Statistics said.
It comes as the overall UK inflation rate fell sharply to hit single figures for the first time since last August.
However, it was higher than forecast by economists, who had predicted a drop to 8.2 per cent in April.
The rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation has decreased to 8.7 per cent in April
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the reduction in the consumer prices index measure (CPI) was due to gas and electricity costs remaining stable in April, compared to the unprecedented surge recorded in the same month last year.
ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “The rate of inflation fell notably as the large energy price rises seen last year were not repeated this April, but was offset partially by increases in the cost of second-hand cars and cigarettes.
“However, prices in general remain substantially higher than they were this time last year, with annual food price inflation near historic highs.”
The figures showed food CPI inflation at 19.3 per cent, a slight decrease on March’s 19.6 per cent.
Although figures have dropped, it does not mean prices are coming down, only that they are rising less quickly.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Although it is positive that it is now in single digits, food prices are still rising too fast.
“So as well as helping families with around £3,000 of cost-of-living support this year and last, we must stick resolutely to the plan to get inflation down.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves added: “As bills keep surging, families will be worried food prices and the cost of other essentials are still increasing.
The Shadow Chancellor said 'families will be worried food prices and the cost of other essentials are still increasing'
“They will be asking why this Tory government still refuses to properly tackle this cost of living crisis, and why they won’t bring in a proper windfall tax on the enormous profits of oil and gas giants.
“The reality is that never have people paid so much in taxes and got so little in return.
“Our economy is constantly lurching from crisis to crisis, when we should be protecting family finances and building our national economic security here in Britain.
“Labour’s mission to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7 will make families across every part of our country better off,” the Labour MP said.