// Inflation increased to 0.6% in June, from 0.5% in May, according to the ONS
// Higher video game prices and lack of summer sales for fashion drove the inflation increase
UK inflation bounced higher in June on the back of clothes and video game price rises as the coronavirus crisis halted normal summer discounting patterns.
The ONS said the rate of Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased to 0.6 per cent for the month, from 0.5 per cent in May.
A consensus of economists had predicted that inflation would stay flat at 0.5 per cent for the month.
- Retail sales jump in June amid lockdown exit
- Retail footfall plunges 62% in June as Brits remain cautious (BRC)
- Online retail sales continues to boom despite lockdown exit
Economists said that price increases for toys and games were a particular driver for the return to inflation growth, especially price rises for computer games and consoles.
Prices across the category grew by 1.8 per cent, compared with a 4.7 per cent fall a year ago, as the virus impacted demand and availability of some games.
The absence of summer sales among fashion retailers, due to the coronavirus lockdown, is another reason behind the increase in inflation.
“The inflation rate has increased for the first time this year, but remains low by historical standards,” ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said.
“Due to the impact of the coronavirus, clothing prices have not followed the usual seasonal pattern this year, with the normal falls due to the start of the summer sales failing to materialise.
“Prices for computer games and consoles have risen, but food prices, particularly vegetables, have fallen.”
with PA Wires