Fact Service January 2023

Inflation dips, but cost of food climbs

Inflation dropped slightly in the year to December for the second month running, but food prices kept it at a 40-year high, the ONS has found.

The CPI rate was 10.5%, down from 10.7% in November and its October peak of 11.1%, while RPI was 13.4%, down from 14% the previous month, and its record October high of 14.6%.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 16.9% in the 12 months to December, up from 16.5% in November. The annual rate of inflation for this category has risen for 17 consecutive months, the ONS said, driven upward by milk, cheese and eggs in particular, whose prices overall rose 4.1%. There were further upward effects from sugar, jam, honey, syrups, chocolate and confectionery, and mineral waters, soft drinks and juices. 

Commenting on the figures, TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Inflation remains higher than the pay rises most workers are getting. And far higher than the pay offers Rishi Sunak is trying to force onto millions of workers without fair negotiations.”