UK inflation dropped sharply to 0.2% in August after the government’s eat out to help out scheme pushed down restaurant and cafe prices.
The fall in the annual consumer prices index (CPI) last month followed a rise of 1% in July, illustrating the dramatic influence on prices of the restaurant subsidy scheme that operated for a month to the end of August.
Eat out to help out was hugely popular, with at least 100m subsidised meals eaten by diners in the UK during the month. With prices cut by 50% on eating out from Monday to Wednesday up to a maximum of £10 per head, the lower average price dragged down the overall inflation rate.
The Office for National Statistics said the downward pressure on prices also came from falling air fares and clothing prices rising by less between July and August 2020 than between the same two months a year ago.