Siobhan Mail, Director at Newport-based Seer Green financial planning specialists, said: “With the Office for National Statistics indicating that a 19.1% increase in university fees was a major contributor to a worse than expected increase in October’s CPI inflation figure, we should not be lulled into thinking that this poor inflation figure is necessarily a one off.

“The impact of university fees increasing from £3,375 to £9,000 was anticipated, but a worrying increase in food prices also played a significant part as record wet weather continues to affect crop yields in the UK, whereas the US has struggled with the effects of a drought!

“Recently announced increases in energy prices also due to take effect in the coming months mean the chances of the Bank of England hitting its 2% inflation target any time soon seem remote. The RPI measure, which includes housing costs, also increased from 2.6% to 3.2%, so the BoE are likely to be forced to ‘downgrade’ growth projections again as increasing living costs act as a damper on growth prospects.

“While acknowledging the real hardship these increasing costs will have on people, it at least raised a smile to see that the ONS had spotted the confectionery provider’s sneaky attempts to reduce the size of many confectionery items, which the ONS quite rightly have registered as an increase in price as we’re getting less chocolate for our money!”

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