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Clothing Prices Cause UK Inflation Rate to Fall in October

Britain’s cost of living fell slightly in October, thanks in part to cheaper clothes.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published Tuesday, showed that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) declined from 1.0% to 0.9% last month as clothing prices and university tuition fees increased by less than they did a year ago.

“Although the rate was slightly lower than in September 2016, it remained higher than the rates otherwise seen since late 2014,” ONS said.

Overall, clothing prices rose by only 0.2% between September and October this year, a lot less than the 2.3% increase witnessed in the same period in 2015, and mainly because of women’s outerwear.

“It is important to note that this followed a relatively large increase in prices in September 2016, which resulted in an upward contribution to the change in the rate of a similar magnitude to the downward effect seen in October,” ONS pointed out.

Earlier this month, the British Retail Consortium reported that fashion turned a corner in October, as new seasonal ranges drew shoppers in and boosted sales. But the ongoing decline in daytime footfall, down 0.4% last month versus a year ago, shows brick-and-mortar retailers continued challenges in attracting shoppers to stores. The future isn’t much brighter: the BRC expects the post-Brexit devaluation of the pound to begin making its mark on imports in the first quarter of 2017.