Inflation rate remains unchanged at 4% in January after forecasters expected rise

14 February 2024, 07:04 | Updated: 14 February 2024, 11:06

Inflation has unexpectedly stayed at 4%
Inflation has unexpectedly stayed at 4%. Picture: Alamy/ONS
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Inflation has unexpectedly remained unchanged, staying at 4% for the second month in a row after forecasters predicted a rise.

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Figures also show that core inflation has remained the same at 5.1% in January.

This number excludes certain factors, including the price of energy, food and tobacco.

Inflation, a measure which shows how prices rise over time, sat at 4% in December, a slight but unexpected increase from 3.9% in November.

Last year, the government met its pledge to halve inflation in 2023, which peaked at 11.1% in October 2022.

The government's overall inflation target is two per cent.

Inflation has remained unchanged
Inflation has remained unchanged. Picture: ONS

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%.

"The Bank of England forecast that it will fall to around 2% in a matter of months."

Read More: Sunak insists economy ‘has turned a corner’ despite prospect UK could go into technical recession by end of the week

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But Labour said that the figures showed people are worse off after 14 years of "economic failure".

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: "Prices are still rising in the shops, with the average household's costs up £110-a-week compared to before the last election.

"Inflation is still higher than the Bank of England's target and millions of families are struggling with the cost of living.

"The Conservatives cannot fix the economy because they are the reason it is broken. It's time for change.

"Only Labour has a long-term plan to get Britain's future back by delivering more jobs, more investment and cheaper bills."

Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt
Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Getty

While inflation has been coming down, it remains higher when compared with other Western nations.

In France, for example, inflation is at 3.4%. In the US and Germany, it sits at 3.1%, and across the Eurozone, it is at 2.8%.

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