UK inflation remains historically high but eases in November

Furniture prices remained high during November but eased slightly as overall inflation also reduced but stayed at historically high levels.

According to the latest Office for National for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 10.7% in the 12 months to November 2022, down from 11.1% in October.

On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.4% in November 2022, compared with a rise of 0.7% in November 2021.

Furniture and furnishing prices stood at 12.9% in November, down from 13.3% in October, while rising from 11.7% compared to the same month last year. Price inflation eased to its lowest level since December 2021’s rate of 12%.

The retail price of household furniture decreased to 13.2% in the month from 13.7%, while rising from 12.2% last year.

Garden furniture prices stood at a rate of 13.5%, down from 14.1% on last month but up from 6.3% compared to last year. Carpets and other floorcoverings prices were at a rate of 9.3%, up from 8.7% the previous month and also rising from 8.8% last year. This marked the highest increase since April’s 9% rise.

Other household textile prices, including furnishings fabrics, curtains and bedding, saw a rate of 7.5%, up from 5.3% the previous month and 1.9% on last year.

The ONS said that the Producer Price Inflation (PPI) index for November has been cancelled after quality assurance checks identified an issue with the data. A further update on this will be in January.

Commenting on the inflation figures for November, ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Although still at historically high levels, annual inflation eased slightly in November. Prices are still rising, but by less than this time last year with the most notable example of this being motor fuels.

“Tobacco and clothing prices also rose, but again by less than we saw this time last year. This was partially offset by prices in restaurants, cafes and pubs which went up this year compared to falling a year ago.”

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, added: “It will undoubtedly be a challenging Christmas period for many households across the UK. Not only are the costs of food and gifts up on last year, but bills are up 27% too. Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine continues to put pressure on energy and food prices, meaning there is little sign that inflation will ease significantly soon.

“To combat inflation, retailers are investing hundreds of millions into lower prices for the future, as well as finding ways to keep the cost of Christmas down for their customers. This includes freezing the price of many essentials, offering discounts to vulnerable groups, raising pay for their own staff, and expanding their value ranges.”

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