Annual rate of inflation increases again to 5.5%

The UK’s 12-month rate of inflation increased again in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed.

According to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) published by the ONS, CPI inflation rose by 5.5% in the 12 months to January 2022, a figure up from 5.4% in December 2021.

The ONS stated that this is the highest ever CPI 12-month inflation rate in its National Statistic series, which began in January 1997.

On a monthly basis, however, CPI inflation fell by 0.1% in January. Price falls in clothing and footwear, and transport led to the largest downward contributions to the monthly rate.

The ONS also publishes a Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), which saw an increase of 4.9% in the 12 months to January. This was up from 4.8% in the year to December 2021.

The largest upward contributions to January’s CPIH 12-month inflation rate came from housing and household services, at 1.37 percentage points, and transport at 1.24 percentage points.

Commenting on the figures, AJ Bell head of investment analysis, Laith Khalaf, said: “Inflation is building and is now expected to reach a crescendo of over 7% in April, heaping pressure on consumers, businesses and savers.

“The elevated figures we are seeing today are effectively sunk costs, reflecting prices rises which have already happened, but what’s just as concerning is there’s more inflationary pressure to come. The Bank of England expects inflation of over 5% in the next year, and on top of the 5.5% we’ve just witnessed, that adds up to a double digit hit to consumer purses in just two years.”

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