UK inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI) release dates

UK inflation has returned to the Bank of England’s 2% target. When is the next Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, and will inflation continue to slow down?

UK inflation chart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rate of UK inflation over the past few years has been the highest in a generation, peaking at 11.1% in October 2022. This prompted an aggressive policy reaction from the Bank of England, which raised interest rates fourteen times to their current level of 5.25%. 

The good news is that higher interest rates seem to be having the desired effect. The rate of UK inflation slowed to 2% in the 12 months to May, hitting the Bank of England’s target for the first time in almost three years. Prices are still rising, but at a far slower rate than they once were.

All eyes are now on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) as households, businesses and investors ask the key question: when will UK interest rates fall

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Many are holding out hope for a summer cut to the base rate when the next monetary policy decision is announced on 1 August. However, recent comments from the Bank of England’s chief economist could suggest next month is too soon. 

Services inflation and wage growth remain sticky, and the labour market is still tight. “Recent developments in these indicators have hinted towards some upside risk to my assessment of inflation persistence,” Huw Pill explained.

We’ll have a better idea of where things are heading after the next inflation report comes out. If you’re keeping a close eye on the rate of UK inflation and want to follow any upcoming CPI releases, these are the dates you need to know.

Next UK inflation figures 

In the UK, the main measure of inflation is the Consumer Price Index. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases this once a month. 

The first five inflation readings of the year (covering January, February, March, April and May) were released on 14 February, 20 March, 17 April, 22 May and 19 June. These are the dates for the rest of 2024:

  • 17 July (covering June)
  • 14 August (covering July)
  • 18 September (covering August)
  • 16 October (covering September)
  • 20 November (covering October)
  • 18 December (covering November)

The final inflation reading for 2024 (covering December) will be released early in the new year on 15 January 2025.

What time is CPI released in the UK? 

Each month, the ONS releases the latest CPI data at 07:00. You can access the data by going onto the ONS website and clicking on its release calendar. All published and upcoming releases are listed there. The report you are looking for will be titled, “Consumer price inflation, UK”, followed by the month and year in question. 

MoneyWeek regularly reports on the latest inflation data and what it means for you.

What is CPI and how is it calculated? 

As introduced previously, CPI is the main measure of inflation used in the UK. It tells you how much the cost of living is going up or down. 

It is calculated using a typical basket of household goods and services – from eggs, flour and milk to hotel costs, vinyl records and airfryers. Yes, that’s right, vinyl records are back in the CPI shopping basket for the first time since 1992 after a recent resurgence in popularity.

The Bank of England keeps a close eye on CPI when setting interest rates. If inflation is too high, the Bank raises interest rates to slow consumer spending and cool the economy. This works in bringing prices down, because households have less money to spend when mortgage rates are high and debts are more expensive to repay. 

Meanwhile, if inflation is too low, the Bank lowers interest rates so that consumers have more disposable income to spend. Thanks to the laws of supply and demand, this pushes prices back up.

Are prices still rising?

An inflation rate of 2% means household costs are still going up, but at a far slower rate than they once were. While prices were rising by around 11% a year at inflation’s peak, they are now rising by around 2% a year. 

“Low and stable inflation is vital for a healthy economy,” the Bank of England explains. Too much inflation places a burden on household finances and erodes the value of savings, but a small amount of inflation can be a sign of a growing economy. 

Of course, the headline CPI figure is based on a basket of goods and services – the rate at which different items go up or down varies from category to category. 

One important area where consumers have enjoyed a fall in prices recently is energy. The Ofgem price cap was cut by 12.3% from 1 April, causing the average household energy bill to tumble. This was instrumental in bringing the headline inflation figure back to target.

What’s more, the energy price cap was cut by a further 7% from 1 July. We should see the effects of this in the inflation report that is released on 14 August.

Where is inflation heading next?

Now that the headline inflation rate is back to the Bank of England’s target, an important question for many is: “Where is inflation heading next?” 

According to forecasts from several economists, the path ahead is unlikely to be completely straight. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expects inflation to average out at 2.2% for 2024 as a whole, before dropping to 1.5% for the duration of 2025. 

Meanwhile, the Bank of England has said it expects inflation "to be around 2% in the coming months", before going "back up to around 2½% towards the end of the year", and then "falling again after that".

“What continues to keep some policymakers at the Bank of England hot under the collar is the tight jobs market, which has meant wage inflation has stayed steamy,” says Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown. 

“The concern is that if this pay pressure continues, employers will pass on the cost of higher wage bills and push up the price of goods and services,” she adds.

Katie Williams
Staff Writer

Katie has a background in investment writing and is interested in everything to do with personal finance and financial news. 

Before joining MoneyWeek, she worked as a content writer at Invesco, a global asset management firm, which she joined as a graduate in 2019. While there, she enjoyed translating complex topics into “easy to understand” stories. 

She studied English at the University of Cambridge and loves reading, writing and going to the theatre.