INFLATION has risen to its highest since March 2012 and is above the Bank of England’s 2% target according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It soared to 3.2% in August, up from 2% in July and 2.5% in June.
But what actually is inflation? And how does it affect prices and the economy? Here’s what you need to know.
What is inflation? And what does it mean?
Inflation is a measure of how much the price of goods, such as food or televisions, and services, such as haircuts or train tickets, has changed over time.
The rate of inflation is published each month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and this measures how much prices have changed on average over the past year.
For example, the latest publication looked at prices for the year to August 2021 compared to prices for the year to August 2020.
It reported that inflation rates rose sharply because of the Eat out to Help Out scheme discounts on food this time last year, and higher food prices now.
So if a loaf of bread cost £1 a year ago and inflation is now at 2.5%, then the price of that loaf of bread would now be around £1.03 as it has risen by 2.5%.
How is inflation measured?
Inflation is measured by the ONS, which collects around 180,000 prices of about 700 goods and services used across the country.
These prices are updated every month with officials visiting the same retailers each time to ensure consistency.
The prices are then weighted with more prominence being given to products people buy more often, such as fuel rather than postage stamps, for example.
There are numerous different measures of inflation that all track slightly different baskets of goods. The main measure is known as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), and state benefits and the state pension also rise inline with it.
There is also a Consumer Prices Index including housing costs (CPIH) measure, as well as a Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure, which is used to calculate annual rail increases and student loan interest rates among other things.
What is the UK’s current inflation rate?
The CPI measure of inflation jumped to 3.2% in August 2021, the latest figures available.
Artificially suppressed prices last year due to lockdown, rising fuel prices, the ongoing high demand in the second hand car market and supply issues have all combined to create a steep rise in prices in August, according to personal finance expert Laura Suter at AJ Bell.
Inflation plummeted because of the coronavirus pandemic but is now rising again as the country reopens and the economy gets back on track.
What impact does inflation have on prices and the economy?
Inflation matters because it affects the value of wages, savings and more. As such, the Bank of England has a target inflation rate of 2%.
This target is set by the government which believes a small amount of inflation at a stable level is good, because it boosts economic output by encouraging spending, which in turn means businesses can afford to generate employment opportunities.
It can also make goods more attractive to foreign buyers as it can make their currency worth more, comparatively, to another countries.
Conversely, if inflation is too high or it goes up and down a lot, it can be hard for businesses to set the right prices and for people to plan their spending.
It can also mean the cost of essential goods and services can suddenly outstrip the buying power of people’s wages.
At the other end of the scale, if inflation is too low, or negative, then some people may put off spending because they expect prices to fall further.
Low inflation is, however, good news for savers as the interest paid on savings is more than the increase in the cost of goods meaning your spending power is going further.
For example, at present, the top easy-access current account is 0.65%, according to Moneyfacts, which is less than inflation at 3.2%.
The Bank of England also uses inflation as a guide when it is setting the base rate. The base rate is currently set at a record low of 0.1%.
It dropped from 0.25% to 0.1% in March 2020 to help control the impact of coronavirus on the economy.
Banks then use this base rate to set rates on everything from personal loans to mortgages.
A low base rate means bank interest rates are also likely to be low, which is good for borrowers.
Variable rate and tracker mortgages follow the base-rate and can go up or down at any time – so you’ll also likely pay less if inflation goes down.
But low inflation can mean banks slash interest rates on savings too, so you’ll be earning less on your money.
Low inflation can also mean your debts get more expensive, as the amount you owe remains the same, yet you may find it harder to repay debts or the item, such as house or car, may depreciate in value compared to its initial worth.
See our guide on is Is low inflation good or bad? for more information.
What is deflation?
Deflation – or negative inflation – is when the rate of inflation falls below zero.
This can happen when the supply of goods is higher than the overall level of demand. It can also be triggered by lower production costs, or a shortage of money in circulation.
The UK was last in deflation territory in 2015, and though some experts speculated we could see negative inflation as a result of coronavirus pressures on the economy, the latest rise in inflation makes this less likely.
This would mean lower prices for consumers, which on the surface is a good a thing.
But the Bank of England points out that when prices fall, people often don’t make purchases as they hope costs will fall further.
And when people stop buying, less money is going to businesses and into the economy, and in turn those businesses may cut wages or make job losses.
How can I protect my finances against rising inflation?
The best way to beat the price hikes as inflation soars is to check your finances and see where you can cut costs.
You could save up to £200 a month by switching to cheaper supermarkets like this savvy saving single mum did.
And using comparison websites like Uswitch or Compare the Market could help you switch energy providers to save hundreds of pounds each year.
Cutting subscriptions like your Netflix and Spotify account and quitting the gym could save you £1,200 a year.
While making the most of yellow sticker aisles in supermarkets could shave over 50% off your food bill.
For more guides, we’ve rounded up eight Martin Lewis money-saving tips that could save you £9,243.
Here is a mammoth 50 ways to save money including best apps.
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What does the Eight of Wands tarot card mean?
THE EIGHT of Wands is a Minor Arcana tarot card that heads down a clear path toward the future.
The struggles you felt are gone now, and the future is bright and certain. Without the resistance inhibiting you along the way, you can be confident in your choices and pursue your aspirations.
What does The Eight of Wands tarot card mean?
In an upright position The Eight of Wands propels you toward your goals at such a pace that it will seem like a blur.
While The Seven of Wands card shows your struggles, The Eight of Wands reflects that those struggles have all but disappeared, leaving your path clear to pursue your ambitions with an open mind.
Now is the time to be exuberant as you approach every task and plow through one accomplishment after another.
If the card presents itself in reverse, it reflects you’re indecisive in your actions and are simply hopping from one task to the next without completing any of them.
You need to slow down and focus your attention. The possibility of a resistance to change is ever-present with this card, and you need to be wary and pay attention to your needs to focus on what the future might hold.
What are the Major Arcana cards in Tarot?
The Fool – Beginnings, innocence, spontaneity, a free spirit
The Magician – manifestation, resourcefulness, power
The High Priestess – intuition, sacred knowledge, divine feminine
The Empress – Femininity, beauty, nature
The Emperor – authority, establishment, structure
The Hierophant – spiritual wisdom
The Lovers – love, harmony, relationships
The Lovers – love, harmony, relationships
The Chariot – control, willpower, success
Justice – fairness, truth, law
Strength – strength, courage, influence
The Hermit – soul searching, inner guidance
Wheel of Fortune – good luck, karma, life cycles
The Hanged Man – pause, surrender, letting go
Death – endings, change, transitions
Temperance – balance, moderation, patience
The Devil – shadow self, addiction, restriction
The Tower – sudden change, upheaval, chaos
The Star – hope, faith, purpose, spirituality
The Moon – illusion, fear, anxiety
The Sun – positivity, fun, warmth, success
Judgment – rebirth, inner calling
The World – completion, accomplishment, travel
What does The Eight of Wands card look like?
Eight wooden posts, or wands, flying through the air with an arc toward the ground is imprinted on The Eight of Wands tarot card.
The symbolism indicates the end of something, the completion of a long journey and the symbolism that have arrived at your destination.
The card illustrates your potential and the lustrous greenery in the background shows that life and growth persist, while the wands reveal exciting times ahead.
Which star sign is associated with The Eight of Wands card?
The wand cards are associated with the fire star signs that include Sagittarius, Scorpio, and Leo.
Sagittarius is a visionary and links this star sign to The Eight of Wands because of their inability to worry about the details and move toward the future with a strong-headed determination.
The relatability of the two is evident through the Sagittarius’ personal ventures that are almost always a result of their open mind and motivation to wander, finding success in the deep corners of the world.
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Are ‘Grocery’ Joe Amabile And Serena Pitt From ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Season 7 Still Together?
Grocery Store Joe Amabile and Serena Pitt have been total #relationshipgoals for most of Bachelor in Paradise season 7. They were basically attached at the hip—even after Joe’s ex, Kendall Long, arrived to stir the pot.
All season long, these two have seemed unshakeable. Even Kendall explaining that she wasn’t over their breakup wasn’t enough to convince Joe to leave Serena—and Kendall’s self-elimination not long after was heartbreaking to watch. Days later, the couple admitted they were falling head over heels in love with each other (aw!).
After watching their relationship blossom on the beach, it’s only fair to wonder if these two are still the apple of each other’s eye. Luckily, Reality Steve has all the deets (and photo evidence!) you’re looking for.
Here’s the scoop on Joe and Serena’s current relationship status:
Warning! Major spoilers ahead: Stop reading here if you don’t want to know what happens on the rest of this season of Bachelor in Paradise.
Were Joe and Serena dating before Paradise?
Probably not. It seems unlikely that Joe and Serena had a pre-Paradise connection, but who knows? Joe and Kendall officially announced their split in January 2020 after dating for more than a year, according to People.
While there isn’t any insider info that points to a pre-show relationship between Joe and Serena, Paradise didn’t start filming until spring 2021. So there was definitely plenty of time for a flirty DM or two before the pair hit the beach.
ICYMI, here’s a refresher on Joe:
A post shared by Joe Amabile (@joeamabile1)
A post shared by Serena Pitt (@serena_pitt)
Do Joe and Serena make it to the season finale?
They sure do! Reality Steve wrote on his blog that this lucky pair is one of three to end this season with a proposal. “Joe and Serena are engaged,” he explained. The other couples to also pop the question are Riley and Maurissa and Kenny and Mari.
Congrats on the Neil Lane sparkler!
Are they still together IRL?
All signs point to yes. Back in July, Reality Steve Tweeted a sneaky pic of Joe and Serena cozied up next to each other. “Grocery Joe & Serena Pitt today at a rooftop pool in Chicago…” he captioned the snap.
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19 Featherlight Fall Dresses That Won’t Weigh You Down
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Fall is all about wearing more layers, more fabric, more warm accessories, etc. We love the coziness that longer sleeves and longer hems can bring, but when you’re layering with a fleece pullover or a wool coat, it can sometimes feel like a bit much. The moment we start to feel physically weighed down by our clothing is the moment we need to make a change.
That’s why this fall, we’re concentrating on buying dresses that are super, super lightweight. We still want them to fit the season — we’re not buying bright, floral mini dresses — but we want them to keep us feeling free and ready to take on the day in style. Sound like a plan to you? Then check out our 19 picks below!
19 Featherlight Dresses for Fall
Solid Layering Dresses
1. Need a dress to wear under your sherpa denim jacket or moto jacket? We love this long-sleeve MOLERANI T-shirt dress — and how it has a little flow to it!
2. If you prefer something more fitted, check out this BTFBM dress. The ruching is so flattering!
3. Treat yourself by splurging a little on this Jenni Kayne T-shirt dress. It’s long, but it’s made of linen, making it super lightweight for masterful layering!
4. With a midi hem and a mock neckline, this stretchy Halogen dress will upgrade any casual look. It’s so versatile though!
Wedding Guest Dresses
5. This HUHOT velvet dress is a head-turner for sure. It’s short to keep things light, and the colors are so perfect for fall!
6. Get ready to stun in this Reformation dress. It’s made of 100% silk charmeuse and we love every detail, from the mock neckline to the high slit!
7. When paired with some pumps and some sparkling jewelry, this plunging ruffle Eytino dress will make you the star of any wedding photo booth. The back is gorgeous too!
8. Some sweaterdresses can feel like wearing sandbags. This Daily Ritual dress, however, keeps things light while still maintaining its softness!
9. If you want fabric with some thickness to it, minus the weight, then add this MEROKEETY dress to your cart!
10. This new Madewell polo sweaterdress instantly caught our attention. Unique, cozy and such an easy way to elevate your style!
11. Comfy-chic is alive and well thanks to pieces like this BB Dakota by Steve Madden dress from Nordstrom. The dropped shoulder seams and cuffed sleeves are everything!
12. This Everlane dress is made of super lightweight and breathable cotton, but its mock neckline and tiers make it an unmistakable staple for fall. Pair with ankle socks and booties!
13. This long-sleeve Floerns dress easily caught our eye while scrolling on Amazon. The print! The swingy skirt! The high neckline! Obsessed!
14. With a square neckline, smocked torso and flouncy long sleeves, this other Floerns dress was bound to capture our hearts. This is a flawless way to transition florals into fall!
15. Denim jackets are always on trend for fall, but how about denim dresses? This Zilcremo shirtdress is our favorite because of its frayed cuffs and hem!
16. Wear it as a nightgown at night or transform it into a streetwear staple. This Ekouaer dress can do it all. We also love the pocket, of course!
17. This Skims henley dress‘ mega-soft modal fabric is like a dream. Totally nap-worthy — though you could also wear this with thigh-high boots!
18. This Lunya overlay dress is made of a thermo-regulating silk to keep you feeling light and cool. The loose silhouette is all kinds of cozy!
19. Looking to go into full chill mode? Grab this Romwe dress and settle in with a Netflix movie marathon and snacks!
15 Non-Puffy Layering Pieces for Sleek and Chic Fall Looks
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