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Gloucestershire Business News

UK inflation falls sharply for second month in a row

Inflation in the UK dropped to 6.8% in the year to July from 7.9% in June.

It is the second month in a row that the rate of inflation - how quickly prices are rising - has dropped sharply and it is now at a 15-month low.

The latest figure was driven by a reduction in the energy price cap and food costs rising less rapidly, particularly milk, bread and cereals.

But UK inflation remains stubbornly high overall compared to many other nations and well above the Bank of England's target rate of 2%.

The rising costs of hotels, air travel and rents are some of the main things keeping inflation high, according to the Office of National Statistics.

As a result, the Bank is expected to raise interest rates again next month in an effort to bring inflation down.

Mohsin Rashid, CEO of ZIPZERO, said: "While this inflationary burden may have slightly eased, its weight continues to cripple millions of Britons' finances.

"Everyday essentials like clothing and groceries continue to get more and more expensive. And while savvy cost-cutting hacks like bargain hunting and using retail loyalty benefits will certainly lighten the load, they can ultimately only go so far.

"Let us not become complacent: now is the time to dish out the support needed to pull consumers back from the cliff's edge. Support is urgently needed from businesses and the government alike. For businesses - namely retailers - that means cutting prices where possible and rewarding customer loyalty. For the government, cracking down on any instances of 'greedflation' is a must."

Chieu Cao, CEO of Mintago, said: "It's important to remember that prices are continuing to rise, just at a slower rate. Therefore, the prospect of maintaining positive financial wellbeing will be slipping ever further away from hard-working Britons, so their employers cannot become complacent, even as inflation falls.

"It's no longer good enough for businesses to merely help their staff survive, they must empower them to thrive. Wages might be rising for many, but that is not enough in the current economic climate. If employers haven't already reviewed and improved the support they are providing in times as challenging as these, one wonders which rock they've been hiding under for the past 18 months.

"The cost-of-living crisis very much rages on. Employers have to cultivate an environment where financial education and wellbeing programmes are fundamental components of the workplace, rather than a luxury. In doing so, they can look forward to a more productive and prosperous workforce in the months to come."

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