Rate of inflation slows to 4.6%

Inflation has fallen to 4.6% for the year to October, a sharp fall from 6.7% in September, new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

October’s figure follows two successive months of no change in the annual rate of consumer prices index (CPI) inflation.

The latest figure also marks a significant fall from the recent peak of 11.1%, which was recorded in October last year.

This easing in the annual rate comes as CPI inflation did not change on a monthly basis between September and October, compared with a rise of 2.0% at the same point in 2022.

Economists have cited falling energy prices as well as the Bank of England’s interest rate hiking cycle as reasons behind the annual rate of inflation coming down.

The ONS also reported that core CPI inflation – which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco – stood at 5.7% in the 12 months to October, a figure that has also fallen from September and came down from 6.1%.

“Given that inflation has remained unchanged for the past couple of months, it’s really positive to see it return to its downward trajectory – and by quite some margin too,” commented managing director of MorganAsh, Andrew Gething.

“It is now at its lowest level for two years, thanks mostly to the lower Ofgem energy price cap. A stabilisation of food inflation will be welcome news for many, although households continue to face pressure at the petrol pump.

“While the Government will be happy to have met its end of year target to halve inflation, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that we are still a way off from the illusive 2% target. There’s no question that pressures remain, particularly for the most vulnerable of households. We must also consider the increased burden for those still set to remortgage in the near future onto a much higher rate.”

Managing director of capital markets and finance at LiveMore, Simon Webb, added: “This latest inflation data should be enough to keep base rate at 5.25% although there is still division in the Monetary Policy Committee.

“The Bank of England’s chief economist Huw Pill recently suggested there was no need to increase base rate as inflation is steadily falling. However, governor Andrew Bailey believes it is too soon to say that rate rises have ended.”

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