Inflation remains stuck at 2.4 per cent, the ONS says


The rate of inflation remained stuck at 2.4 per cent last month as stubbornly high gas and fuel prices contained to squeeze family budgets. 

After falling for several months at the beginning of the year, the Consumer Prices Index has remained unmoved on the same figure for three months.

The Office for National Statistics said that while the cost of  clothing, games, toys and hobbies pare falling, energy costs remain high.  

It means that families are still finding their budgets squeezed as they pay their monthly bills. 

The rate of inflation remained stuck at 2.4 per cent last month as stubbornly high gas and fuel prices contained to squeeze family budgets.

The rate of inflation remained stuck at 2.4 per cent last month as stubbornly high gas and fuel prices contained to squeeze family budgets.

The rate of inflation remained stuck at 2.4 per cent last month as stubbornly high gas and fuel prices contained to squeeze family budgets.

The cost of filling up your car at the petrol station has shot up to reach heights not seen in some years.

Petrol prices rose by 2.7 pence per litre between May and June 2018 to stand at 128.0 pence per litre in June – the highest average price since September 2014.

And diesel prices also rose, by 2.9 pence per litre between May and June 2018 –  

The figures have renewed calls for the Government to stick to its fuel duty freeze after reports that it could be under threat in the next budget.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Road transport is fundamental to the success of the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses.

‘The surging fuel price should give policymakers pause for thought as we start to look ahead to the Budget.

The Office for National Statistics said that 388,000 more people have jobs than a year ago

The Office for National Statistics said that 388,000 more people have jobs than a year ago

The Office for National Statistics said that 388,000 more people have jobs than a year ago

‘A fuel duty freeze in recent years has helped spur growth among small businesses, nine in ten of which say cars are important to their firms. Two thirds say van transport is important to business success – half say the same of lorries.

‘The current fuel duty rate of near 60p a litre already looks steep. With small firms struggling to absorb higher business rates, wages and pension contributions, the last thing they need is fresh tax hikes in the autumn.’

The pound fell sharply after the inflation data, falling 0.7 per cent against the US dollar at $1.30 and was 0.3% lower at €1.12. 

Last month’s inflation figures make a rise in interest rates next month seem more unlikely, although recent data for the services and construction sectors was stronger than expected. 

Tom Stevenson, investment director at Fidelity International, said: ‘June’s unchanged inflation rate is a huge surprise.

‘It had been expected to bounce back up to 2.6 per cent or even 2.7 per cent on the back of higher fuel and energy prices. While these came through, they were offset by falling prices for clothes and games.

‘Faster rising prices would have given the Bank of England cover for an interest rate hike next month. Now it looks odds-on that the MPC will hold fire yet again. That’s particularly the case after yesterday’s wage growth data emerged weaker than expected.

‘As well as stagnant real incomes, the Bank of England will be mindful of the deepening economic and political uncertainty as well as the potential for inflation to soften again as petrol price hikes drop out of the comparisons.

‘August’s expected rate hike is, therefore, even less of a dead cert than it was before today’s surprise inflation print. It is now entirely possible that the Bank will delay until November or even next year.’

The news comes a day after figures showed that while the unemployment rate has hit a new record high, people are still not seeing significant increases in their wages.   

The number of people in work has hit 32.4 million – the highest since records began in 1971 – with 388,000 more people have jobs compared to a year ago.

It means that the employment rate – the number of people aged 16 to 64  with a job – has hit 75.7 per cent – the highest since records began in 1971.  

But wage growth fell for the second month running as employers are still refusing to give big pay rises.  



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