Prices fell on the month as government measures to support businesses kicked in. Those include a temporary sales-tax cut for hospitality firms, and subsidizing some restaurant meals in August under the Eat out to Help Out program announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
Economists expect a bounceback in coming months, and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said this month he didn’t expect the rate to turn negative in the short-term.
has been at less than half the BOE’s 2% target since April -- the first full month the virus lockdown -- and the report comes a day before officials announce their September policy decision.
While no move is predicted on Thursday, the low reading may buttress arguments for an expected further easing of policy later this year.
Prices at restaurants and cafes fell 5.5% from July and were down 2.6% from a year earlier. The decline reflected the fact that consumers paid a subsidized rate during the month, with the government making up the rest.
There was also downward pressure from air fares, which posted the first decline for the month on record after coronavirus
restrictions brought international
travel to a standstill. Prices fell 1%, compared with a 22.4% increase a year earlier, with the drop driven by European routes, the ONS said.