Cost of living - latest: UK inflation figures released (2023)

the central point
  • Inflation fell to 8.7 percent.
  • The IMF sharply improves Britain's economic outlook
  • Netflix starts cracking down on password sharing in the UK
  • UK house prices hit record high in May - Rightmove
  • This dilemma:My employer has reduced my working hours while I am on maternity leave - is this allowed?
  • Budget Mom:save for your children|Will a food subscription save you money?|vacation|The best offers for broadband internet


Inflation in the UK remains higher than in most G7 countries

The 8.7% figure we just told you is higher than Germany's 7.6%, France's 6.9%, Canada's 4.4%, America's 3.8% and Japan's 3.4%.

However, it was lower than Italy's 8.8 percent.

The overall figure for the EU-27 is 8.1%.

The graph was published this morning by the ONS...


Inflation fell to 8.7 percent.

Inflation fell below 10% for the first time since August.

In April, it fell to 8.7 percent from 10.1 percent in March.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 8.2 percent - but again the decline was not as steep as expected.

According to Pantheon Macroeconomics, electricity and natural gas prices rose by 40.5% and 66.8%, respectively, in April 2022. In contrast, they were flat last month, bringing the number down.

The ONS said this morning: “The fall in the annual rate of inflation for April 2023 largely reflects price changes in the housing and household sectors, particularly gas and electricity.

"This was partially offset by the upward effects of entertainment and culture, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, communications and transportation."

Inflation is the rate at which prices rise.

It is the highest it has been in more than a year, largely due to global factors such as the war in Ukraine that has forced Russia to cut its natural gas supplies, driving up energy prices.

Just because inflation is down doesn't mean prices are down. Anything above zero means prices are going up - we need thatfromInflation causes prices to fall, something few expected to happen.


Netflix starts cracking down on password sharing in the UK

Netflix has started emailing UK customers who share their accounts with someone "outside the household".

The streaming giant says the Netflix account is "for one family", and those who want to share their accounts will have to pay £4.99 to do so.

Netflix released a statement online last night saying: "Everyone in that household can use Netflix anywhere - at home, on the go, on holiday - and benefit from Transfer Profiles and Manage Access and new features like devices.

The attached email screenshot describes how users can share their accounts.

This includes allowing users to "switch" profiles to "new paying members" or purchase additional memberships for an additional £4.99 per month.

Since expanding rapidly in the UK in 2017, Netflix has changed its style after joking on Twitter that "love is a shared password".

Read the whole story here...


Food inflation eased a bit, helped by milk - we'll see what that means for overall inflation in the

Falling milk prices helped lower grocery inflation for the second month in a row, industry data showed.

Kantar Worldpanel, which monitors supermarket sales and prices, measures annual growth in grocery storesinflationIn the four weeks ending on May 14, the increase was 17.2%.

That's down from 17.3% in the previous four weeks, but still at the third highest level since the 2008 financial crisis.

The price of four liters of milk has fallen by 8p in four weeks due to higher food, production and transport costs.

But Kantar added that prices are still much higher than 12 months ago, currently at £1.60 compared to £1.30.

You can read the full food inflation story below while we wait for the ONS headlines on


Inflation update due at 7am - here's what experts are predicting

Economists polled by Reuters expect annual inflation to fall to 8.2 percent in April from the current 10.1 percent.

According to Pantheon Macroeconomics, electricity and natural gas prices rose by 40.5% and 66.8% respectively in April 2022. In contrast, they were flat last month, which should weigh on the ONS data release at 7am.

However, it should be noted that the experts' forecasts were too low in the last two months, as inflation unexpectedly remained in double digits.

What is inflation?

Inflation is the rate at which prices rise.

It has now risen to 10.1%, largely due to higher energy prices as global factors such as the war in Ukraine cause Russia to cut gas supplies. The conflict has also left tons of Ukrainian grain in ports, driving up food costs.

For obvious reasons, the government wants to keep inflation low - the target is 2%, and Rishi Sunak has promised to get closer to that target of 5% this year.

But just because inflation has fallen doesn't mean prices have fallen. Anything above zero means prices are going up - we need thatfromInflation causes prices to fall, something few expected to happen.


BoE admits error in UK inflation forecast

Bank of England policymakers were criticized at a meeting of finance ministers for not predicting sustainable inflation growth.

Conservative MP John Baron accused the banks of a "pathetic failure" to keep inflation close to the 2 percent target, which he said was causing "real pain" for households and businesses.

The bank's chief economist, Huw Pill, admitted that its economic forecasting models were wrong.

"We are aware that our inflation forecasts were too low," he said.

"We try to understand why we made those mistakes, explain them in terms of behavior and assess how they will continue."

Earlier this month, the Bank of England revised its inflation forecast after it said food price inflation was more stubborn than expected.

It was previously thought that consumer price index (CPI) inflation in the UK could fall to as low as 1% by the middle of next year, but is now expected to be around 3.4%.

The bank's governor, Andrew Bailey, responded to criticism that the public had lost confidence in its financial model and interest rate decisions.

"I think there are some very important lessons about how we conduct monetary policy in the face of very large shocks. Because the shocks we're facing are unprecedented," he said.

"I think there are a lot of lessons about how we do policy in that world — a world of enormous uncertainty."


"The IMF keeps making mistakes..."

Following on from the IMF predictions we told you about a while back, we have a video in which Ed Conway, data and economics editor, asks the group's chief executive how important it is that they keep getting it wrong.

see what she says...


Government borrowing significantly higher than expected

Official figures show the state took on nearly £12bn more debt last month than last April, spending on energy schemes, higher benefit payments and paying billions more in interest.

Monthly borrowing increased to DKK 25.6 billion. GBP in April,compared to £21.5 billion. in MarchOffice for National Statistics (ONS) price £13.7 million. in April 2022.

This means that the public sector (excluding public banks) spends more than it receives in taxes and other revenues, and borrows the difference.

Read the full story...


The IMF sharply raises the economic outlook for the UK - but says there will be an increase in the cost of living

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today that it does not expect Britain to slip back into recession this year, nor to experience the weakest growth among the seven major industrialized economies.

The fund revealed a sharp improvement in its outlook for the UK, as the group had previously forecastFacing worst 2023 among G7 countries, saying that the UK will actually grow by 0.4% this year.

Although still weak, it was stronger than the previously forecast 0.7% decline and stronger than the IMF's forecast of a "close to zero" growth rate for Germany.

Read Ed Conway's full story here...


More than £450m spent on school refurbishments still 'not enough'

More than £450 million spent on improving hundreds of school buildings across the country is the "bare minimum" and "not nearly enough" for a much-needed upgrade, education chiefs say.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that 859 colleges, sixth form colleges and voluntary funded schools will receive £456 million in funding to help with building refurbishment and maintenance.

While this would help ensure pupils have safe, warm and energy-efficient classrooms, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said it would not pay for the repairs.

"These are funds awarded through an annual tender scheme to meet basic needs in terms of the condition of school and university buildings and it is certainly not an example of government generosity," said Geoff Barton.

"This is the bare minimum and far from covering the cost of remedial work to repair or replace all faulty components on school estates in England - £11.4bn at the latest estimates."

The government says it has invested more than £15bn in building upgrades since 2015.

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