UK inflation hits 4-year low as CPI falls to 0.5 pct in May

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LONDON, June 17 (Xinhua) — Britain’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate fell to 0.5 percent in May 2020, recording the lowest point since June 2016, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Wednesday.

The reading in May was lower from 0.8 percent in April and 1.5 percent in March, with all far below the Bank of England’s 2 percent target for inflation, as the lockdown restrictions reduced people’s activities significantly across the country.

Meanwhile, the CPI including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate dropped to 0.7 percent in May, down from 0.9 percent in April, hitting the lowest point since May 2016, data showed.

“Falling prices for motor fuels and a variety of recreational and cultural goods resulted in the largest downward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2020,” added the ONS.

As the largest upward contribution to the CPIH inflation rate between November 2018 and March 2020, the housing and household services sector’s contribution plunged to 0.16 percentage points in May, down from 0.51 percentage points in March, the lowest level since November 2010.

Regarding the housing rental market, the annual private rental price growth “has been on an upward trend since late 2018,” said the ONS, adding the prices being paid by tenants across Britain “increased by 1.5 percent in the 12 months to May 2020, unchanged since April 2020.”

“Focusing on the long-term trend, between January 2015 and May 2020, private rental prices in the UK increased by 9.2 percent,” added the statistic body. Enditem

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