UK inflation drops to its lowest point in more than a year, but food costs are still high


The UK’s inflation rate fell to its lowest level in more than a year in May, official figures showed, a sign of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 0.5%, down from 0.8% in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The ONS said the key drivers were falling energy prices and the reduced cost of clothing and footwear. However, food price inflation remained elevated at 3.1%, driven by higher prices for bread, breakfast cereals, eggs, beef and pork.

Underlying inflation, which strips out volatile prices such as energy, petrol and food, fell to 1.2% in May, the lowest level since 2014, the ONS said. That was down from 1.5% in April.

The strengthening of sterling against the euro since the start of the year also contributed to downward pressure on inflation, the ONS added. The Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Andrew Bailey, has previously said the Bank was expecting inflation to remain benign over the next few months.