(Alliance News) -Â The UK government's Eat Out to Help Out dining discount scheme helped to push down inflation in August, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday.
The annual inflation rate slowed sharply to 0.2% in August from 1.0% in July. Month-on-month, prices fell by 0.4% in August after 0.4% growth in July.
The ONS noted that the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme - which ran in August and discounted meals out up to a maximum of GBP10 per person - pushed down prices in restaurants and cafes, while other downwards contributions came from air fares and clothing prices.
Prices at restaurants and cafes fell 2.6% in the year to August, after growth of 3.4% in July.
Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for Economic Statistics at the ONS, said: "The cost of dining out fell significantly in August thanks to the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme and VAT cut, leading to one of the largest falls in the annual inflation rate in recent years."
"For the first time since records began, air fares fell in August, as fewer people travelled abroad on holiday. Meanwhile the usual clothing price rises seen at the time of year, as autumn ranges hit the shops, also failed to materialise."
Producer prices remained in deflation in August. Output producer prices slipped 0.9% annually in August, while input factory prices fell 5.8%.
By Lucy Heming;Â firstname.lastname@example.org
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