Matt Whittaker, CEO of Pro Bono Economics, said:

“Inflation fell sharply in April, dropping back into single figures for the first time since September as the effects of the steep rise in energy costs, which landed this time last year, dropped out of the annual comparison. Although welcome news, it is worth noting that an annual rate of 8.7% remains very high by historical standards. In fact, outside of the last extraordinary year, this is still higher than at any point in 33 years of the CPI.

“It is also notable that the headline is increasingly being driven by food price inflation, with prices for milk, cheese and eggs rising by 29.3% year-on-year, for example. It means that the ongoing cost of living crisis is falling hardest on those with the lowest incomes. Food staples account for a larger share of the weekly spend in lower income families, and opportunities for cutting back on non-essentials are much more limited.

“With each passing month in which inflation outstrips pay growth – and we are at 17 and counting – the cumulative effect of the living standards squeeze is becoming harder and harder for many to endure. There are glimmers of better news in the economy, but it remains the case that demand for charitable support continues to reach new highs each month.”