Inflation remains steady in January

The rate of inflation remained flat at 4% in January, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning (February 14).

Some analysts had expected January’s rate to rise to 4.2%, but today’s figures defied forecasters again.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Inflation never falls in a perfect straight line, but the plan is working – we have made huge progress in bringing inflation down from 11% and the Bank of England forecast that it will fall to around 2% in a matter of months.”

According to the ONS, the rise in the price of utilities was offset by a fall in the cost of furniture and household goods. Meanwhile, the price of food fell again.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “Inflation was unchanged in January reflecting counteracting effects within the basket of goods and services.

“The price of gas and electricity rose at a higher rate than this time last year due to the increase in the energy price cap, while the cost of second-hand cars went up for the first time since May.

“Offsetting these, prices of furniture and household goods decreased by more than a year ago and food prices fell on the month for the first time in over two years.

“All of these factors combined resulted in no change to the headline rate this month.”