UK inflation: November’s figures in graphs and where prices have been rising fastest | Personal Finance | Finance


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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), prices rose by 10.7 percent in the year to November – below economists’ predictions. The inflation rate for transport, alcohol and tobacco, as well as clothing and footwear all eased from October. However, record-high food and energy prices remain the driving forces behind the cost-of-living crisis. The Bank of England (BoE) prepares to meet again on Thursday, when it is widely expected to raise interest rates yet again.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measures the change in the prices of a basket of goods containing hundreds of everyday items, and is the primary indicator of inflation and the cost-of-living. It came in at 10.7 percent in the 12 months leading up to November, according to figures released by the ONS on Wednesday.

This is down from 11.1 percent in October – the highest rate recorded for 41 years – leading to speculation that inflation may finally have peaked. 

However, lower inflation only means that prices aren’t rising as fast – not that they have begun to go down. 

On a monthly basis, prices rose by 0.4 percent throughout November this year, lower than the 0.7 percent reported in November 2021, and significantly less than the previous month’s figure of two percent.

Whereas transport inflation has fallen, food and hospitality prices continue to rise faster (Image: GETTY)

ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Although still at historically high levels, annual inflation eased slightly in November. Prices are still rising, but by less than this time last year with the most notable example of this being motor fuels.

“Tobacco and clothing prices also rose, but again by less than we saw this time last year. This was partially offset by prices in restaurants, cafes and pubs which went up this year compared to falling a year ago.”

The transport sector’s annual inflation rate came in at 7.6 percent in November – its lowest since June 2021 and far below its 15.2 percent peak in June 2022.

The principal contributors to this decline were fuel and secondhand cars. The price of motor fuels were 17.2 percent higher than they were a year ago in November, down from 22.2 percent in October.

While well below their record highs this summer, ONS figures show average petrol and diesel prices were at 163.6p and 187.9p per litre respectively last month, relative to 145.8p and 149.6p the same time last year.

Secondhand car prices have been falling ever faster for their eighth consecutive month, dropping 5.8 percent in the year to November.

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The pace at which the price of clothing and footwear is increasing also slackened last month, coming in at 7.5 percent annually, down from 8.5 percent in October. 

The same can be said for alcohol and tobacco – whose yearly rate fell from 6.2 percent in October to 4.2 percent in November – yet price rises for consumers in the country’s restaurants, pubs and hotels accelerated.

In part offsetting the downward pressure on overall inflation from transport and clothing, the cost of a night out went up by 10.2 percent in the year to November, up from 9.6 percent the month before. This rate is the highest recorded since December 1991.

Persistently one of the main drivers of the cost-of-living crisis, annual food inflation hit 16.5 percent in November – up from 16.4 percent in October and the highest rate in 45 years.

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Historically, UK inflation is still at record-high levels. Headline inflation the same month a year ago was at 5.1 percent. In November 2020 it was at 0.3 percent.

In the decade leading up to January of this year, UK inflation averaged 1.8 percent. Going back to 2000, it had averaged two percent.

Two percent is the rate the Government has long set the BoE as a target: with inflation too high, the cost-of-living becomes unsustainable, with inflation too low, people may cut spending with the expectation that goods will be cheaper in the future.

The inflation rate hasn’t been at this level since July 2021. In response, the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised interest rates nine times consecutively, doing so by 0.75 percentage points at its last meeting, the sharpest single-day rate hike in 30 years.

Currently at three percent, the base rate is widely expected to be raised by 0.5 points when the MPC next meets.

UK interest rate

The interest rate is now at its highest level since the financial crisis over a decade ago (Image: EXPRESS)

This comes as data released by the ONS on Tuesday showed that wage growth in the UK was at its strongest on record excluding during the pandemic.

Nominally regular pay rose by 6.1 percent in the three months to October, up from 5.7 percent the previous month. However, when adjusted for inflation, real regular pay fell by 2.7 percent.

Rail workers, nurses, postal workers, Border Force agents and civil servants have all engaged in or planned industrial action as a result of the diminishing value of their paychecks. 

The Government is refusing to yield to union demands for public sector pay increases in line with inflation, fearing such a move would only deepen the cost-of-living crisis for all.

In response to the latest inflation figures, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “I know it is tough for many right now, but it is vital that we take the tough decisions needed to tackle inflation – the number one enemy that makes everyone poorer. If we make the wrong choices now, high prices will persist and prolong the pain for millions.”



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