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May CPI remains at all time high

CPI annual inflation, which was revealed last month to have hit its highest point since September 2008 has remained at its April high of 4.5% for May too according to the latest figures this week from the Office of National Statistics.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 1.3% between April and May this year compared to a 0.1% fall a year ago. Fruit prices in particular rose by 4.7% compared with a 0.4% fall the previous year. Meat prices also rose.

In April’s figures the numbers were largely inflated by the timing of Easter which forced transport prices up dramatically however May saw prices fall as the timing of Easter meant air fares fell by 11.1% during the period of April to May 2011 and sea fares fell by 14.7%. Each had risen by 6% and 1% respectively between the same two months the previous year.

In the year to May 2011 RPI annual inflation and RPIX annual inflation were both unchanged at 5.2% and 5.3% respectively.

The news follows subdued sales figures from Tesco this week and other recent figures including the British Retail Consortium-KPMG’s May retail sales monitor which also showed subdued retail sales.

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