• Annual CPI inflation down from 3.0% in April to 2.8% in May
  • Annual RPI inflation down from 3.5% in April to 3.1% in May

Commenting on the inflation figures for May 2012, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The large decline in the May inflation figures is good news. If current trends continue, the squeeze felt by many businesses and consumers will begin to ease. Disposable incomes will improve, which will in turn give a significant boost to consumer spending. While inflation is still above the 2% target, it is heading in the right direction. Compared to its 5.2% peak in September 2011, annual CPI inflation has almost halved.

“The latest inflation figures may increase calls for more quantitative easing (QE). The Bank of England should not rule this out if the eurozone collapses, as this would put pressure on our banking system. But we know that additional QE has not made much of a difference to businesses on the ground.Unless we are facing a global shock, the government must instead ensure that the measures to improve liquidity and lending to businesses announced last week are implemented effectively and without delay. The government should go further and consider introducing a state-backed business bank to facilitate access to finance for new and growing companies. Deregulation and investment in infrastructure must also be key ingredients of a long-term growth strategy.”