Clothing and video games push up UK store costs

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Image copyright Dan Mullan The UK’s inflation fee rose to 0.6% in June because the coronavirus lockdown started to ease. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) picked up barely from May’s four-year low of 0.5%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mentioned.Food and alcohol costs fell, however costs for clothes and video games rose, the ONS mentioned.Despite the slight enhance within the fee, inflation stays under the Bank of England’s 2% goal.Jonathan Athow, deputy nationwide statistician for financial statistics on the ONS, mentioned: “The inflation rate has increased for the first time this year, but remains low by historical standards.”Due to the affect of the coronavirus, clothes costs haven’t adopted the standard seasonal sample this yr, with the traditional falls as a result of begin of the summer season gross sales failing to materialise.”Prices for computer games and consoles have risen, but food prices, particularly vegetables, have fallen.” Men’s clothes particularly rose in worth, with will increase coming “across almost the full range”, the ONS mentioned.Women’s clothes confirmed “a more mixed picture across the different products”, however with the general impact nonetheless upward.Games, toys and hobbies, notably pc video games and pc video games consoles, made the largest contribution to the inflation rise, the ONS mentioned.”It is possible that prices have been influenced by the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown changing the timing of demand and the availability of some items, particularly consoles,” the ONS added. What is inflation?Inflation is the speed at which the costs for items and companies enhance.It’s one of many key measures of economic wellbeing as a result of it impacts what shoppers can purchase for his or her cash. If there’s inflation, cash does not go as far.It’s expressed as a share enhance or lower in costs over time. For instance, if the inflation fee for the price of a litre of petrol is 2% a yr, motorists must spend 2% extra on the pump than 12 months earlier.And if wages do not sustain with inflation, buying energy and the usual of living falls.What is the inflation fee? Since many areas of the financial system had been fully shut down in June, the ONS mentioned it needed to estimate or “impute” a few of the knowledge.Jeremy Thomson-Cook, chief economist at monetary companies agency Equals, mentioned the slight enhance within the inflation fee was “a positive sign”, however added that the outlook remained “messy”. “Food prices are falling from lockdown levels, clothing demand is out of kilter with typical seasonal patterns, demand for entertainment during lockdown provided a pronounced bump in prices, and the ONS has only been able to log 84% of the normal price quotes due to unavailability,” he mentioned.”For now, however, inflation remains low, and both consumers and the Bank of England will be happy with that.”

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