1. ITV Report

Families still feeling the pinch despite inflation drop

While the rate of inflation fell slightly in December, it fell by such a small amount that the squeeze on household budgets remains as tight as ever.

Inflation fell from 3.1% in November, to 3% in the last month of 2017.

The 0.1% drop was from the highest the rate had been at in nearly six years - the last time it reached above 3% was in March 2012.

Sharida Furlonge has to watch every penny she spends. Credit: ITV News

Yet in the year to December 2017, the price of goods rose by 3.4% and food rose by 3.9%, while wages rose only by 2.3%.

For single mother Sharida Furlonge, every day is a struggle to make ends meet for her family, strictly managing their benefits each week to ensure that she can pay all their bills.

Sharida Furlonge budgets £20 per week for her family's food. Credit: ITV News

The three of them spend just £20 per week on food.

The 24-year-old told how she watches every single penny, keeping all of her receipts so she can compare prices.

"You've always got to watch your pocket, what you're spending because you don't know what's going to go up [in price] next," Ms Furlonge said.

Money is not just an issue for Ms Furlonge, rising prices have left a scar in the city where 30% of children live below the poverty line.

Jill Craig said that while prices may only rise by a couple of pennies, it all amounts to more. Credit: ITV News

Jill Craig, a market trader in the town, told how rising prices have left people not putting on their heating in a bid to cut their household's costs.

Ian Brewer from Bradford's Credit Union, a non-profit community lender, told how rising inflation was steadily eroding living standards.

"Everything that is a staple is going up," Mr Bewer said.

"We hear all the time that people are struggling and have less money coming in and more money coming out."

Bradford's Credit Union has been monitoring inflation in the city. Credit: ITV News

With necessities more expensive than they were this time last year, Ms Furlonge questioned what "the future was going to bring?"

While lower inflation could help ease the pressure on finances, for many it seems a long way off.