UK Inflation Eases to 8.7 percent in April, but Food Prices Continue Rapid Surge


(MENAFN) In April, the consumer price inflation in the UK showed a decrease, with the year-on-year rate easing to 8.7 percent from 10.1 percent in March. However, this figure remained above the expected 8.2 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Notably, food prices continued their rapid surge, reaching the highest rate of increase in nearly 45 years.

Although there was a slight deceleration in the rate of grocery price growth leading up to April, it still stood at a significant 19.1 percent, approaching record levels. The ONS chief economist, Grant Fitzner, highlighted that the notable fall in inflation was primarily due to the absence of large energy price rises that were observed in the previous year. However, this decrease was partially offset by increases in the cost of second-hand cars and cigarettes.

Reacting to the data, UK Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt welcomed the fall in inflation on Twitter, emphasizing the importance of remaining vigilant. He stated that the rate of 8.7 percent marked the lowest level in over a year, indicating progress. However, he emphasized the need to address the issue of food prices, as highlighted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in their recent concerns about the UK's inflation outlook.

On Tuesday, the IMF expressed worry that the UK could face a prolonged period of elevated inflation. They raised concerns about businesses maintaining higher prices and workers seeking salary raises to cope with the situation. While the fall in inflation is seen as a positive development, the IMF's remarks emphasize the ongoing challenges and the importance of continued efforts to manage inflation, particularly with regard to food prices.

The latest figures reveal a mixed picture for the UK's inflation landscape, with some improvements but persistent concerns over food prices. The government and policymakers recognize the need for ongoing action to address these challenges and ensure stability in the economy. The focus remains on monitoring inflationary trends and implementing effective measures to mitigate the impact on households and businesses.

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