Retail Prices Index (RPI) – UK

Retail Price Index measures changes in the prices of goods and services bought for household consumption in the UK. The RPI takes a large sample of retail goods including food, tobacco, household goods and services, transport fares, motoring costs, clothing, and leisure goods and services. An increase in the index means that prices have increased on average (inflation) while a decrease means that prices on the whole have fallen (deflation).

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Since early 1996 the UK has also tracked a similar CPI figure. Due to differences in how the figures are calculated, (RPI includes some housing and tax figures, excludes the top 4% of income earners, among other characteristics), PRI will tend to over state price changes compared to CPI. Generally though RPI and CPI give the same picture of inflation.

Since late 2003 the UK government has preferred to set inflation targets on CPI instead of the Retail Price Index, decreasing RPI’s impact on the market.

The headline figure is the percentage change in the index from the previous quarter and previous year. RPI data is also used for indexation of state benefits and pensions.

Relevance: Rarely affects markets
Release schedule : 8:30 (GMT); monthly, typically mid month after the reporting month’s end
Revisions schedule : Not revised
Source of report : Office for National Statistics
Web Address : http://www.statistics.gov.uk/
Address of release : http://www.statistics.gov.uk/instantfigures.asp

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