Trade associations have welcomed a fall in inflation rates, but warned that both businesses and consumers continue to face challenges.

The UK inflation rate fell to 7.9% in June, down from 8.7% in May, driven by a drop in motor fuel prices. The Office for National Statistics said that food prices rose in June 2023, but by less than in June 2022, also leading to an easing in the rates.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “It’s welcome news that inflation is beginning to fall, but it is still extremely high.”

He said the latest rates are at odds with the government’s plans to increase alcohol duty by more than 10% in August.

“It makes the treasury’s decision to increase alcohol duty by an inflation busting 10.1% in two weeks even less well judged and punitive for the UK drinks industry. The government still has time to scrap -or at least reduce – extortionate hikes and help cash strapped consumers and beleaguered businesses.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, added that while the latest inflation rates will be welcome news to pub and brewing businesses, “we’re not out of the woods as there is still a long way to go for the pressures on our customers and supply chains to feel the difference”.

“Our pubs and brewers need confidence to invest and grow their businesses, whilst their customers need reassurance that inflation will continue to slow, and prices fall to give people more spending power. This news is positive, but we need inflation to continue falling not just be a one off in order for our industry to perform to its full potential and support communities and economies across the country.”