Rising costs of clothing contributes to inflation

London - Consumer prices have risen at the fastest pace since 2014 last month, according to the UK's Office for National Statistics or ONS.

Annual inflation increased from 2.3 percent in March to 2.7 percent in April, driven by rising prices in apparel up 1.1 percent last month in comparison of a 0.4 percent fall last year.

Other contributing factors were seasonal price differences in airfare, driven largely by the Easter holiday.

The rising cost in clothing were spread across a wide range of items, principally in women’s clothing. Whilst this year was the largest April rise since 2011, it is important to note that the fall in April last year was unusual compared with recent years, accentuating the upward contribution from clothing to the inflation rate. Sales patterns may have contributed to the price movements, as the proportion of items on sale fell between March and April this year, having risen slightly a year ago, according to the ONS

“These upward contributions were partially offset by a fall in motor fuel prices between March and April, compared with a rise between the same two months a year ago,” the ONS added. "The overall rise was in line with analysts’ expectations but compared with March, prices rose 0.5 percent, slightly above expectations."

This is the third consecutive month of above-target inflation, with prices now growing at roughly the same pace as workers’ wages. UK economy, which relies heavily on domestic demand, may there be in for a slowdown noted WGSN.

The central bank foresees annual inflation peaking in 2017 at 2.8 percent, well in excess of its 2 percent target, before easing off in 2018. Officials say the surge in price growth is being driven primarily by a weakened pound and that this effect will eventually fade.

UK inflation began to rise after Britain’s vote to leave the EU last summer, spurred by the pound’s steep post-referendum depreciation. But it also reflects a broader global trend of inflation returning after a long spell of weak prices growth.

Photo credit: Inflation Graph, ONS.gov.uk