Inflation rose in December as clothing retailers shunned steep Boxing Day sales

UK inflation picked up pace in December after hard-hit clothing retailers held off from traditional steep Boxing Day sales, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 0.6% in December from 0.3% in November.

It said clothing prices rose marginally between November and December in contrast to the usual falls seen due to Boxing Day sales, though prices still dropped on an annual basis.

Suring demand for computer games and consoles and children’s toys also pushed up inflation, with annual recreation and culture inflation hitting its highest level since August.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “Clothing prices put upward pressure on inflation in December, despite some evidence of continued discounting.

“Transport costs, including air, sea and coach fares, as well as petrol prices, rose as some travel restrictions eased during parts of the month.

“These were partially offset by falling food prices, most notably for vegetables and meat.”