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Facts & Figures

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Inflation rate falls to lowest level in more than two years


The rate of inflation has declined to its lowest point in more than two years, the latest official data has revealed. 



Lower food prices helped bring down the rate of inflation in February


The Consumer Prices Index climbed 3.4% in the 12 months to February, down from 4% in January and less than half of its peak of 11.1% in October 2022, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported. 


The annual inflation rate in February was the lowest since September 2021, when it was 3.1%.

While inflation is still up, and above the Bank of England’s 2% target, the fall in February will be welcomed by consumers who have suffered during the cost-of-living crunch and whose lower spending power has impacted retailers.


The further decline in the rate of inflation was powered in part by lower food price increases. The ONS said that the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages were up 5% in the year to February, versus 7% in January. That was the lowest rate of food price inflation since January 2022 – down from a 45-year high of 19.2% in March 2023.


The 12-month rate of inflation in clothing and footwear was 5% in February versus 5.5% in January, and 0.1% versus 0.5% in furniture and household goods.


BRC director of insight Kris Hamer said: “While today’s inflation figures will be good news for consumers, government must not be complacent. Significant costs on the horizon may put renewed pressure on overall inflation in the near future.


“These include a 6.7% rise in business rates and reforms to the packaging levy and electrical takeback schemes, all in the context of the biggest rise to [the national living wage] on record. This will limit investment and drive up costs at a time when many families are still facing a higher cost of living.” 

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