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Spending calculator: See which prices have gone up or down

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Inflation eased in July to its lowest levels since February 2022, though prices are still rising at historically rapid rates. How has your spending been affected? Use our calculators to see how much your groceries, clothing and leisure activities have increased in cost.
By Sky News Data and Forensics Unit
Wednesday 16 August 2023 08:06, UK
Prices have increased over the past 12 months by 6.8% on average, putting pressure on already stretched household budgets.
Prices are rising more slowly than they were before, however. Inflation is now at its lowest annual rate since February 2022, when Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine led to a global surge in food and energy prices.
Gas and electricity prices are now falling, helping to offset the continued increase in food prices. Frozen food is 20% more expensive on average than a year ago, while fresh vegetables are up 19%.
Read more:
Inflation figures: Sharp fall in the rate at which prices are rising
How much has your individual spending gone up? Use our calculator to see how much prices are rising on the groceries, clothing and leisure activities you pay for.
Which prices are increasing fastest?
A kilogram of white sugar costs 53% more than it did last year, with prices rising from 73p to £1.12 in just 12 months. A bottle of olive oil (500ml-1L) has increased in price by 42%, now costing £6.39 (up from £4.51 last July).
Fresh vegetables have seen some of the biggest price rises. A cucumber will now set you back 84p – up 31% compared to 12 months ago. The cost of a kilogram of onions has risen from 86p to £1.11 (an increase of 29%).
Aside from food, toiletries have seen some of the most significant price jumps. The cost of a box of cold and flu drink powder sachets has risen by more than a quarter in the last 12 months, from £4.29 to £5.43. The price of a bottle of sunscreen has risen by 21%, now £6.87 up from £5.69 last year.
Top five food price rises:
Granulated white sugar (1kg): up 53%, 73p to £1.12
Olive oil (500ml-1L): up 42%, £4.51 to £6.39
Cook-in sauce (350-520g): up 34%, £1.49 to £1.99
Hard cheese (1kg): up 31%, £7.76 to £10.19
Cucumber: up 31%, 64p to 84p
Only four of the 152 types of food tracked by the ONS has become cheaper since last year: kiwi fruit, blueberries, spreadable butter and honey.
Overall, 35 out of the 442 products in our database are cheaper than they were this time last year, mostly recreational and household items.
Smallest food price rises or decreases:
Kiwi fruit: down 5.7%, 35p to 33p
Blueberries (1kg): down 2.3%, £12.00 to £11.72
Spreadable butter (500g): down 1%, £4.22 to £4.18
Honey (340-454g): down 0.4%, £2.25 to £2.24
Instant coffee (90-100g): up 0.6%, £3.15 to £3.17
Some non-food items have seen their prices fall. The price of 1,000L of kerosene has come down by nearly two fifths (38%) from £1,017.13 to £627.65 in the past year, the biggest price decrease over the period.
And with the cost of fuels coming down, the cost of hiring a car for a day has fallen from £91.61 to £80.91.
Is it more expensive to live a healthy lifestyle?
Non-alcoholic drinks have gone up by 15.9%, nearly twice the rate of alcoholic drinks (8.8%).
Vegetables have become 18.6% more expensive in the last year, while fruit is up 5.6%. The price of meat has risen by 12.5%.
There is some good news for active types, however, with the price of men’s football boots decreasing by 15% from £91.92 to £78.17 and the cost of an adult bike coming down by 3% to £432.10 in the past year.
What is the effect of long-term inflation?
The price changes described above compare the cost of items to where they were a year ago.
However, inflation has now been at high levels for an extended period of time.
The war in Ukraine, COVID, Brexit, and other supply chain pressures have all contributed to spiralling costs in recent years. Inflation peaked at 11.1% in October 2022, which the ONS estimates was its highest level in over 40 years.
While the headline inflation figure is finally starting to come down, any amount of inflation means that prices are still rising, and are building on already inflated costs.
We’ve compared the costs of shopping items to what they were three years ago to see what the cumulative impact of inflation has been.
The biggest price rise for groceries over that time has been for a bottle of olive oil, which has risen by nearly three quarters from £3.68 to £6.39 in the past three years.
And although the cost of kerosene and hiring a car have shown some of the biggest price decreases over the past 12 months, when looking back over three years they are among the biggest risers.
The price of kerosene increased by 82%, from £345.83 to £627.65 for 1,000L. Self drive car hire is up by 76%, from £46.07 to £80.91 per day compared to three years ago.
Use our calculator to see how much prices in your shopping basket have risen in total since three years ago.
Between July 2020 and July 2023, some of the increases seen were:
Kerosene (1,000L) at 82%, £345.83 to £627.65
Self drive car hire (per day) at 76%, £46.07 to £80.91
Olive oil (500ml-1L) at 74%, £3.68 to £6.39
Cook-in sauce (350-520g) at 69%, £1.18 to £1.99
Medium density fireboard (MDF) at 69%, £18.61 to £31.35
Who is worst affected?
Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, says: „It’s the least affluent households that are going to see much higher rates of inflation as they spend more of their income on food and energy.”
We’ll continue to update our spending calculator over the coming months so you can see how you’ll be affected.
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The ONS collects these prices by visiting thousands of shops across the country and noting down the prices of specific items. There are upwards of 100,000 prices published every month, from more than 600 products.
The items that form the „official shopping basket” change each year to reflect how the purchasing habits of the population have changed. For example in March 2021, after a year of the pandemic, hand gel, loungewear bottoms and dumbbells were added, while canteen-bought sandwiches were among the items removed.
Where there aren’t the exact equivalent items available at a survey shop, ONS officials pick the best alternative and note that they’ve done this so it’s weighted correctly when the averages are worked out.
Shops are weighted as well, so the price in a major chain supermarket will have a greater impact on the average than an independent corner shop.
We will be updating these figures each month while the cost of living crisis continues.
During the pandemic, more of the survey was carried out over the phone and work is ongoing to digitise the system to be able to take in more price points by getting data from supermarket receipts, rather than making personal visits.
Data journalists: Daniel Dunford, Amy Borrett, Ben van der Merwe and Joely Santa Cruz
Interactive: Ganesh Rao
Design: Phoebe Rowe, Brian Gillingham
The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.
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