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Release: Consumer Price Indices, March 2012

Released: 17 April 2012 Next edition: 22 May 2012


Philip Gooding


Telephone: + 44 (0)1633 456900

Categories: Economy, Prices, Output and Productivity, Price Indices and Inflation, Consumer Price Indices, Consumer Prices Index, Retail Prices Index

Frequency of release: Monthly

Language: English

Geographical coverage: UK

Geographical breakdown: Country

  • CPI annual inflation stands at 3.5 per cent in March 2012, up from 3.4 per cent in February.

    The largest upward pressures to this change came from food, clothing and recreation & culture. Partially offsetting these were downward pressures from electricity, gas & other fuels and transport. The CPI stands at 122.2 in March 2012 based on 2005=100.

  • RPI annual inflation stands at 3.6 per cent in March 2012, down from 3.7 per cent in February.

    The largest downward pressures to this change came from motoring expenditure and fuel & light. Partially offsetting these were upward pressures from food and clothing. The RPI stands at 240.8 in March 2012 based on January 1987=100.

Other useful information:

Detailed CPI and RPI Reference Tables (1.34 Mb Excel sheet) : This spreadsheet pulls together the numerous tables that were previously published in the old style Consumer Price Indices Statistical Bulletin and Focus on Consumer Prices publication. A correlation index is included to show the old and new naming conventions and where the tables were previously published for example: RPI All items 1947-2011 or RP02 & Table 4.1 in Focus is now the new Table 20.

Time series data: Downloadable data sets for CPI and RPI (including equivalent datas sets equivalent to RP01, RP02, RP04, RP05, RP07 & RP50).

Personal Inflation Calculator (PIC): This interactive application allows you to enter your own spending patterns to generate a personal inflation figure. (Note - requires an SVG-enabled web browser, such as Firefox, Safari or Chrome). Further information on the PIC, including how the calculator works and how to calculate your personal inflation rate, can be found in the article ‘The Personal Inflation Calculator’ on the Labour and Market Review (476.1 Kb Pdf) web page.

Further information on the CPI and RPI: Includes details of the methodology used to construct the indices, brief and quick guides to inflation and articles on various aspects of the CPI and RPI.

Consumer Prices Advisory Committee (CPAC) Homepage: This page contains links to CPAC papers covering a range of topical consumer price statistics research including the inclusion of owner occupiers' housing costs into the CPI.

International comparison of the formula effect between CPI and RPI: There are a number of differences between the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI), including their coverage, population base, commodity measurement and methods of construction. Combined, these differences have meant that, for most of its history, the CPI has been lower than the RPI. One of the main reasons to this difference is the method of construction at the lowest level, where different formulae are used in the CPI and RPI to combine individual prices. This difference is usually referred to as the formula effect. This article will investigate similar formula effects present in the inflation measures of other countries, and where necessary will attempt to explain why the magnitude of the formula effect experienced by other countries differs from that of the UK.

The reconcilliation of the differences between the Consumer Price Index and the Implied Price Deflator: The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) is the preferred measure of inflation used in the application of monetary policy by the Bank of England. Within the System of National Accounts, and subsequently the ESA, the preferred measure of inflation is the Implied Price Deflator (IPD). Historically, the indices have behaved broadly similar, however since around 2007 Q4 the divergence in the indices has increased and become more volatile. The plan for this article is to cover the conceptual and scope differences between the CPI and Household Final Consumption Expenditure Implied Price Deflator. There will be an empirical analysis on how and why the two indices differ over time.

Contains price indices, percentage changes and weights for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), Retail Prices Index (RPI) and the components that make up these indices. Internationally, the CPI is known as the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP).

These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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