UK inflation falls to 0.5% – its lowest annual rate in four years as fuel, clothing and energy costs tumble


THE UK’s inflation rate has fallen to 0.5 per cent, its lowest level in four years, following a record drop in fuel prices and lowered costs of clothing and energy.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed the rate of Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 0.5 per cent in May due to the ongoing pressure from the coronavirus crisis.

UK inflation has dropped to 0.5 per cent as the coronavirus crisis continues to squeeze the economy

The drop is down from the 0.8 per cent recorded the month before and means UK inflation is now at its lowest level since June 2016.

Latest data from the ONS showed fuel prices fell 16.7 per cent in May – the biggest fall on record and the lowest price for petrol since April 2016.

Average petrol prices stood at 106.2 pence per litre, while average diesel prices were 113.4 pence per litre, the lowest for diesel since September 2016.

Meanwhile, the price of clothing and shoes tumbled 3.1 per cent in May as retailers launched huge sales to encourage shoppers to start spending.

Energy costs, which dropped by 7 per cent, also pushed inflation lower.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said: “The growth in consumer prices again slowed to the lowest annual rate in four years.

“The cost of games and toys fell back from last month’s rises while there was a continued drop in prices at the pump in May, following the huge crude price falls seen in recent months.

“Outside these areas, we are seeing few significant changes to the prices in the shops.”

More to follow…

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