LONDON, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — UK inflation slowed for a second month in December 2022, but the cost of living crisis continued as food prices remained at an all-time high, according to official figures released Wednesday.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose at an annual rate of 10.5% in December, down from the 10.7% figure reached in November and the record 11.1% recorded in October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
“Prices at the pump fell significantly in December and the cost of clothing also fell slightly,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.
“However, this decline has been offset by higher prices for coach and air tickets as well as hotel nights. Food costs continue to soar, with prices also rising in stores , cafes and restaurants,” he added.
The annual inflation rate for transport was 6.9% in December, down for a sixth consecutive month, and the main driver of this easing came from fuels, according to the ONS.
Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages continued to rise, rising 16.9% in the 12 months to December, the highest rate since 1977. The annual rate of inflation for this category increased increased for 17 consecutive months.
“These figures add to a growing body of evidence that the UK has passed the peak of inflation. Over the coming year, inflation is expected to decline further to single digits,” considered Alpesh Paleja, senior economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
But the cost of living crisis will remain a very real problem for households and businesses, as price pressures remain high in the short term, Paleja added.
“Inflation remains particularly high for low-income families, who are on the wrong side of a large gap in the cost of living due to the high cost of energy and food,” said economist Jack Leslie. principal at the Resolution Foundation think tank. End