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Current inflation rate UK 2024 – Rate remains at 4%

With inflation holding at 4% in January, we explain what this means for UK consumers and how to get extra support if your household is struggling with higher costs.

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 14 February 2024

6 min read

Current inflation rate UK 2024 – Rate remains at 4%

Inflation is a topic that has dominated news articles in the UK throughout 2023 and the start of 2024. Rising prices in basic costs like food, fuel and electricity have caused major financial difficulties for families and businesses across the country. The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) remained steady at 4% in January, despite an increase being expected.

The Bank of England had predicted a small rise in inflation to 4.2% in January, a 0.2% increase on December’s figures. While steady rates are certainly better than increasing rates, the UK is still far above the inflation rate target of 2%. This means that UK consumers are likely to continue experiencing higher costs for the foreseeable future.

Our team of financial experts have posted several articles about inflation over the last few months, with the most recent news being published on 17th January 2024. In this latest article, we explain what is happening with UK inflation right now and what to do if you are struggling due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – Current inflation rate UK 2024 – Rate remains at 4%

Inflation affects all consumers across the UK, with inflation describing the increase in costs for essentials like food, energy, and household bills. Inflation in the UK remains at 4% as of January 2024, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

  • Economic experts predict a gradual decline in inflation throughout 2024, with projections suggesting a decrease to around 3.1% by October 2024.
  • High inflation rates have contributed to a significant cost of living crisis, leaving many vulnerable consumers struggling with basic costs and bills.
  • There are many resources available to provide support for those struggling due to increased costs. Local food banks can be lifelines for families who are finding it difficult to afford their weekly shopping and anyone at risk of homelessness can contact charities like Crisis or Shelter for immediate support.

Inflation refers to the cost of products or services in the UK and how these prices compare to those being charged at the same time last year. As the current rate is 4%, this means that prices are around 4% higher on average.

Inflation has been far higher than the target levels for over 18 months now, with it peaking at 11.1% after the disastrous ‘Mini Budget’ announcement in October 2022. High rates of inflation have contributed to a cost-of-living crisis that has impacted families and businesses across the UK.

The cost-of-living crisis has caused damage across the UK with Crisis UK referring to the situation as ‘desperate’ as the risk of homelessness has increased dramatically. The most recent Crisis research has revealed that families on lower incomes don’t earn nearly enough from Local Housing Allowance to cover average rent costs (around £327 deficit).

This is simply not good enough and the government needs to be doing more to support families and individuals in this situation. If you are struggling with increased costs, there are schemes and support already in place that you should be aware of:

What is the UK Cost of Living Payment scheme?

There are more than 8 million households in the UK that are eligible for cost-of-living payments from the government. If you receive benefits like Income based-Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit, you should check immediately if you are entitled to these payments and haven’t received them.

To be clear, you don’t need to apply for this grant and it should be paid to you automatically. The grant is £900 overall in 3 instalments, with the 3rd payment being paid to UK residents from 6th February 2024 onwards. You will receive this final cost of living payment if:

If any scammers suggest you need to fill in forms or reveal personal data to receive these payments, do not trust them and report this immediately. Scam emails and texts are on the rise in the UK, so you should always be wary of unexpected messages that ask for personal details.

Note: Sadly, the February payment is the last cost of living support payment that has been officially scheduled for 2024. However, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt did confirm that he will increase the amount paid out for benefits like Universal Credit by 6.7% from April this year.

What are food banks and how do they work?

While the cost of food and non-alcoholic drink prices fell 0.4% in January, you may still be struggling to afford the basic items you need. This is the situation for millions of families across the UK, with Statista figures showing that 2.99 million people received parcels from food banks in 2023.

Food banks partner with a range of other services including health services, schools, and social workers to identify anyone who may need to use their services. They will then supply them with a food bank voucher which can be redeemed for 3 days’ worth of food, which can offer crucial support.

The Trussell Trust operates thousands of food banks across the country to support families in need. They also campaign actively to encourage the UK government to ensure that benefits like Universal Credit pay out enough to cover basic costs like food and household bills.

You can find your local Trussell Trust food bank here: Find a Food Bank Tool

What to do if you’re homeless

If you are facing homelessness due to increased costs, there are a range of support services that may be able to help. Gov.uk has published a full guide which explains what options are available for anyone in this situation: Gov.uk – Help if you’re homeless or about to become homeless

You can also contact charities like Crisis or Shelter who can offer support or refer you to another service that can help.

You can find all the details needed to get in touch with Crisis here: Crisis – Get Help

All the details needed to contact Shelter can be found here, and different support services are used depending on where in the UK you live:

Shelter (England) – Get Help

Shelter (Wales) – Get Help

Shelter (Scotland) – Contact Us

Shelter (Northern Ireland) redirects to Housing Rights: Housing advice

Currently, the rate of inflation in the UK has remained at 4%, unchanged from the previous figures reported in December.

Experts at the Bank of England had expected that inflation would rise in January, following an increase to the Ofgem energy price cap. Rising costs for gas and electricity were balanced out by decreases in the cost of items like furniture and food. This meant that no increase occurred, but there also has not been any decrease in the rate so far this year.

The latest data indicates that core inflation, which does not include energy and food prices, also remained steady at 5.1%.

This video from Sky News contains a quick breakdown of the most recent inflation announcement and the impact on UK consumers.

UK inflation rate remains at 4%

The government’s main aim over the last 12 months has been to halve UK inflation, which it has done successfully. The previous peak for UK inflation was as high as 11.1% in October 2022, so 4% is a significant reduction. Labour representatives are still sceptical though, with that Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves calling for more changes to be made to bring inflation rates down.

Our MPO financial experts can agree that this is definitely positive news for the economy moving forward, though we are still far off the ideal inflation rate of 2%.

The most positive news was that food prices had finally fallen, as they had been continuously increasing since September 2021.

How much will inflation rise in 2024?

Economic experts are hopeful that inflation won’t increase dramatically again in 2024, but it is always hard to say for certain whether changes will occur. Various factors can affect inflation and any major economic announcements or changes this year could have an impact.

Data published by the House of Commons Library indicates that inflation is likely to continue falling this year, just at a slower rate than in 2023. Their current predictions suggest the rate could fall to around 3.1% by October 2024.

More financial news

Here are more of the most recent news stories about finance and insurance in the UK.

Aviva PLC. takeover of AIG Life UK investigation 2024

BoE base rate decision: Interest rates hold at 5.25%

Insurance complaints – FOS predicts 44,300 in 2024

UK CPI inflation figures reveal first increase in 10 months

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