What’s triggering inflation? Gas, used cars and suits are what Britons are paying much more for… but computer game prices have plunged
- AJ Bell found that the cost of gas had jumped by 29% since the start of 2021
- The return of Britons to their offices has caused prices of formalwear to soar
- Computer games have seen the largest drop in value of any product this year
New analysis has revealed that second-hand motors, fuel and formalwear are among the products to have seen the largest price rises this year.
On the day it was revealed the UK’s inflation rate reached its highest level in a decade, investment platform AJ Bell found Britons are increasingly paying extra for vital goods and services.
It found that the cost of gas had jumped by 29 per cent since the start of 2021, while those wishing to buy a two or three-year-old car had to pay about a quarter more than they would have last year.
Surging costs: According to AJ Bell, medium-density fireboard (MDF) saw the highest price increase of any product, followed by kerosene, and long men’s coats
Games time: The cost of computer games has fallen by the largest of any good, declining by a third, compared to 18 per cent for those who merely downloaded the game, said AJ Bell
This chimes with remarks made today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the body responsible for publishing the UK’s inflation statistics, which said the cost of second-hand motors had leapt in response to the shortage of new cars rolling off the production line.
Meanwhile, gas prices have soared because of a variety of factors, including growing tensions with Russia, weaker levels of storage capacity across Europe, and the hike in the energy price cap at the beginning of October by the regulator Ofgem.
At the same time, the return of Britons to their places of work has sent the cost for women’s jackets and formal skirts up by over a quarter and long men’s coats by more than a third.
By comparison, those working from home or who regularly travel to the gym have benefited from cheaper and more comfortable apparel items; the value of a woman’s short sleeve sports top has declined by 17 per cent.
If they also enjoy playing computer games, they will have benefited from a one-third drop in price – the largest of any good – compared to an 18 per cent decrease if they downloaded the game.
But if they had renovated their living quarters with medium-density fireboard – a product that can be used as a building material – they would have faced paying the highest growth in costs.
Hikes: Gas prices have soared following a variety of factors, including growing tensions with Russia, weaker levels of storage capacity across Europe and a heavy reliance on imports
Due to the growing number of people redecorating their homes during the pandemic and supply chain issues affecting the construction sector, they would have had to spend 63 per cent more on the product.
‘Everyone is feeling the pinch, whether it’s in their weekly shop, their energy bills or when they’re heading out to buy a new car,’ remarked Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell.
‘But not everything has risen in price, and some areas of our lives are getting pricier than others. The single biggest price rise of the year will dismay DIY fans or anyone working on a home renovation: MDF (or Medium-density fibreboard).’
‘And the biggest faller of the year?’ she added. ‘Computer games, which are a third cheaper than the start of the year, following a boom in demand during the pandemic that has died away now.’
Rising prices: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the country’s year-on-year inflation rate shot up from 3.1 per cent in September to 4.2 per cent last month
ONS figures showed the country’s year-on-year inflation rate shot up from 3.1 per cent in September to 4.2 per cent last month, its highest level since November 2011.
As well as energy and transport goods, the organisation said the absence of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme this year meant food and drink in hotels and restaurants was more expensive.
It additionally suggested the sector may have hiked prices due to the VAT rate on certain supplies for the accommodation, attraction and other hospitality venues going from 5 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
But much of the cost increases across the UK economy are down to issues within the global supply chain, such as delayed shipping and substantial demand for goods made with semiconductors, including laptops, televisions and cars.
The 4.2 per cent figure is more than double the Bank of England’s inflation target of 2 per cent, and there is growing speculation from investors that an interest rate rise could soon be on the cards.