Consumer Spending: the lowest since records began

CONSUMER SPENDING LEFT LANGUISHING: British Retail Consortium (BRC)

Covering the four weeks 30 June – 27 July 2019

  • On a total basis, sales increased by 0.3% in July, against an increase of 1.6% in July 2018. This is the lowest figure recorded for the month of July since BRC records began in 1995 and comes after the worst June on records. This is above the 3-month average of -1.3% but below the 12-month average of 0.5%. This is the lowest 12-month average on records.
  • UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2018, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of -1.5% and -0.2% respectively.
  • Over the three months to July, in-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.1% on a Total basis and 4.0% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.6%.
  • Over the three months to July, Food sales decreased 1.0% on a Like-for-like basis and 0.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 1.8% and the lowest 3-month average since December 2014, excluding Easter distortions.
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Inflation rate down

Consumer price inflation, UK: January 2019 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.0% in December 2018.
  • The largest downward contribution to the change in the 12-month rate came from electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices overall falling between December 2018 and January 2019 compared with price rises the same time a year ago.
  • These downward effects were partially offset by air fares, with prices falling between December 2018 and January 2019 by less than a year ago.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.8% in January 2019, down from 2.1% in December 2018.

CPIH down in December

Consumer price inflation, UK: December 2018

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.0% in December 2018, down from 2.2% in November 2018.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.1% in December 2018, down from 2.3% in November 2018.

Inflation up to 2.5%

Consumer price inflation, UK: July 2018 – ONS

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.5% in July 2018, up from 2.4% in June 2018.

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in July 2018, unchanged from June 2018.
  • Rising prices for computer games and transport fares produced the largest upward contributions to change in the 12-month rate between June and July 2018, although computer game prices tend to be highly variable from month to month.
  • The upward effects were offset by falls in prices for clothing and footwear, and the removal of initial charges for investment in some unit trusts.
  • Prices for clothing and footwear fell by 0.4% between July 2017 and July 2018, the first time the 12-month rate has been negative since October 2016.

Inflation falling

UK consumer price inflation: December 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in December 2017, down from 2.8% in November 2017.
  • Following a steady increase from late 2015, since April 2017 the CPIH rate has levelled off, ranging between 2.6% and 2.8%.
  • The downward effect came mainly from air fares, along with a fall in the prices of a range of recreational goods, particularly games and toys.
  • The downward contributions were partially offset by an increase in tobacco prices, reflecting duty increases that came into effect following the Autumn Budget, along with an increase in petrol and diesel prices.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 3.0% in December 2017, down from 3.1% in November 2017

Inflation up to 2.9%

UK consumer price inflation: August 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.9% in August 2017, up from 2.6% in July 2017.
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in August 2017, up from 2.6% in July 2017.
  • Rising prices for clothing and motor fuels were the main contributors to the increase in the rate between July and August 2017.
  • Air fares also rose between July and August but the rise was smaller than between the same two months a year ago and so resulted in a partially offsetting, downward contribution.

Inflation rate falling

UK consumer price inflation: June 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, not a National Statistic) 12-month inflation rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.7% in May 2017.
  • This is the first fall in the CPIH inflation rate since April 2016, although it remains higher than in recent years.
  • Falling prices for motor fuels and certain recreational and cultural goods and services were the main contributors to the fall in the rate.
  • These downward contributions were partially offset by rising prices for furniture and furnishings.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.9% in May 2017.