UK inflation: What has caused the rate to fall to 3.9%?

Cheaper bread is one of the reasons the inflation rate fell last month (Alamy/PA)
Cheaper bread is one of the reasons the inflation rate fell last month (Alamy/PA)

Lower food and fuel prices have contributed to a drop in the UK inflation rate to 3.9 per cent, giving consumers some relief as they near Christmas Day.

Inflation is at its lowest level in more than two years, and the fall is a greater decrease than anticipated.

The UK, according to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, is "back on the path to healthy, sustainable growth".

The rate at which prices are increasing is measured by inflation. Since reaching record highs at the conclusion of the previous year, it has been decreasing.

The Bank of England claims that a string of economic shocks increased inflation; in an effort to address the issue, the bank has hiked interest rates many times to try to return inflation to its target rate of 2%.

In recent months, the main supermarket chains have lowered the prices of certain necessities.

Sainsbury's previously reported that it had invested £118 million in price control since March. According to the report, the cost of own-label lines increased by 8 per cent throughout the time frame; however, branded goods' cost rose at a faster rate, growing by 6.7 per cent.

The research found that, compared with the previous year, the percentage of sales at every supermarket store that came from promotions was higher – a development that has occurred only once in almost a decade. Spending on promotions reached its highest point since Christmas of last year, accounting for 27.2 per cent of total supermarket purchases.

The biggest decline in the category of milk, cheese, and eggs was seen in the prices of cheese and curd, which dropped 3.3 per cent between August and September. As a result, the annual inflation rate for milk, cheese and eggs decreased from 15.3 per cent in August to 12.3 per cent in the year ending in September 2023.

How much have weekly shops increased?

Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt, has explained that consumers have made a number of changes to how they shop and where they shop from, which has led to an average increase in households’ weekly grocery shop of £5.13 compared with last year.

This figure would have been £11.27 if they had continued to shop the way they were 12 months ago.

One of the ways in which shoppers have changed their behaviours was by hunting for better deals at discount supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, causing the chain of stores to take a bigger share of spending compared with their rivals and recording the fastest pace of growth in the market.