Image default
Home » Eat Out to Help Out knocks inflation to weakest level in five years
News UK

Eat Out to Help Out knocks inflation to weakest level in five years

Picture of inflation graph
The annual inflation rate at its weakest level since 2015 (Picture:

The UK’s inflation rate fell sharply to 0.2% in August as a result of Eat Out to Help Out.

The scheme, introduced by chancellor Rishi Sunak to get people spending money in the hospitality sector, pushed down restaurant prices.

Inflation in July was 1%, meaning the huge drop is one of the biggest falls in the annual inflation rate in recent years. It is at its weakest level since 2015.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also said the cut in VAT from 20% to 5% in the hospitality sector also contributed to the big drop in inflation.


‘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,’ deputy national statistician at the ONS, Jonathan Athow, said.

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers? costs (CPIH) 12-month rate was 0.5% in August, down from 1.1% in July 2020
The Consumer Prices Index drop shows the 12-month inflation rate is at its lowest since 2015 (Picture: ONS)
People eating on tables placed outside a restautant in Chinatown in Soho, London, as the government initiative Eat Out to Help Out comes to an end. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday August 31, 2020. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
More than 100 million meals were claimed for during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August (Picture: PA)

‘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 this time of year, as autumn ranges hit the shops, also failed to materialise.’



Air fares fell in August for the first time on record to encourage Brits to go on holiday in the summer when many of them chose to remain in the UK.

Clothes prices also fell back as retailers held off from rising prices for the usual autumn selling season, to encourage people back into the high street stores.

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme was introduced from Monday to Wednesday throughout August, offering 50% off meals up to a value of £10 per head. More than 100 million discounted meals were claimed for.

Inflation is calculated by looking at a ‘basket’ of commonly purchased products, and comparing how much they cost now to last month and this time last year.

During the pandemic, the ONS has been unable to identify prices for many of the 720 items it usually monitors.

The ONS said prices for only eight items were still unavailable in August, reflecting parts of the economy still unable to operate normally – including cruises, live music, theatre, swimming pools and soft play sessions.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.




Related posts

Only two years after arriving in Australia, Tatiana Grigorieva competed at Sydney 2000


This is what 60 looks like: Grandmother says facials and a pescatarian diet keeps her youthful 


The infection that could be more deadly for students than coronavirus


Leave a Comment