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Release: Consumer Price Indices, January 2012

Released: 14 February 2012 Next edition: 20 March 2012


Darren Morgan


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

  • A factor from last year - the increase in the standard rate of Value Added Tax in January 2011 to 20 per cent from 17.5 per cent - is a significant contributor to the falls in CPI and RPI annual inflation between December 2011 and January 2012. This rise in taxation led to upward pressures on prices between December 2010 and January 2011 (it was estimated to have added 0.76 percentage points to the CPI 1-month change in January 2011), there were, however, no such pressures on prices between December and January this year. This matters as the changes in CPI and RPI annual inflation are calculated by comparing the price changes between the latest two months and the same two months a year ago.

  • CPI annual inflation stands at 3.6 per cent in January 2012, down from 4.2 per cent in December 2011.

    The largest downward pressures to this change came from fuels & lubricants, products bought in restaurants & cafes, tobacco, vehicle maintenance & repair, the purchase of new vehicles and alcoholic beverages. Annual inflation has now fallen by 1.2 percentage points since November 2011; the only time there has been a larger fall over a period of two consecutive months was between October and December 2008. The CPI stands at 121.1 in January 2012 based on 2005=100.

  • RPI annual inflation stands at 3.9 per cent in January 2012, down from 4.8 per cent in December 2011 and is the lowest it has been since February 2010 when it stood at 3.7 per cent.

    The largest downward pressures to the change in RPI annual inflation between December 2011 and January 2012 came from motoring expenditure, alcoholic drinks, food, and tobacco. The RPI stands at 238.0 in January 2012 based on January 1987=100.

Other useful information:

Detailed CPI and RPI Reference Tables (1.33 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' in the Economic & Labour Market Review (476.1 Kb Pdf)  publication.

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.

Response to the Public Consultation on the Measurement of car prices within the CPI and RPI: An improved method to measure new car prices in the CPI and RPI will be used in the construction of the February 2012 indices, following a period of public consultation that took place between 3 October 2011 and 23 December 2011.

Article on the Perceptions of Consumer Price Inflation (52.1 Kb Pdf) : This article examines users' perceptions of consumer price inflation. In particular the article considers the German Index of Perceived Inflation (IPI) as an alternative to the use of surveys to measure perceptions of inflation, and considers the extent to which the ONS Personal Inflation Calculator (PIC) addresses users' perceptions. The article presents some conclusions to improve the way in which users form a perception of inflation in the UK.

This release page 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.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.