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CPI at it's highest point since Sept 2008

CPI annual inflation has risen to its highest point since September 2008 according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics this week.

The figures showed that CPI annual inflation rose by 0.5 per cent in April up to 4.5%. The highest previous rise was September 2008 when the figure stood at 5.2% - the highest ever.

However the ONS admits the figures were skewed by the timing of Easter which didn’t show up in April 2010’s figures at all.

  • It meant fare rises of 29% for air transport for the period between March and April this year compared to a fall of 1% for the same two months last year.
  • Similar Easter timing pressures on sea transport caused a rise of 22.3% for the same period compared to a rise of 3.1% last year.
  • Alchoholic beverages and tobacco prices also rose by a record 5.3% between March and April compared to a rise of 2.1% a year ago.
  • The price of clothing and footwear provided one of the biggest downward pressures on the CPI annual inflation pressure after prices rose by 1.3% between March and April this year compared to a 2.2% increase the previous year.

However the ONS pointed out that although this year’s rise was lower it is still the second largest rise for a March to April period.

For the year to April, RPI annual inflation fell by 0.1% down to 5.2% from March. RPIX annual inflation – the all items RPI excluding mortgage interest payments also fell in April down to 5.3% compared to 5.4% in March.

The UK inflation rate in March continued to outstrip the provisional figures for the European Union with the UK rate standing at 4% compared to the EU’s 3.1%.

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