Prices held steady in October as inflation slowed further

Prices held steady in October, according to official government figures released today, as inflation slowed further.


The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.1% between September and October, with no change from the same month a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

It marked the first time in six months that the figure was unchanging compared with the same month a year earlier, and the least marked annual rise since February 2017.

The annual inflation rate was driven lower by cooling housing costs, which fell by 0.9%, the fastest pace of decline for two years. This outweighed an increase in food prices, which rose by 0.5% on an annual basis.

The underlying inflation rate, which strips out the effect of energy prices and other volatile components, fell to 1.7%, the weakest rate in more than three years. This was down from 1.8% in September, with the rate of decline pushed by a slowdown in air fares and furniture prices.

The Bank of England has forecast CPI to remain below its 2% target rate until the middle of 2021, and this morning’s figures appear to be in line with those expectations.

Chief UK Economist at the Office for National Statistics, Jonathan Athow, said: “This is the first time the CPI has been flat or below zero for an entire calendar month since late 2016, driven by falls in a range of prices such as furniture, domestic energy and air fares.

“The underlying rate of inflation was the lowest since 2016, falling back to 1.7% due to lower air fares and furniture prices this month.”

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