High WPI inflation works against further rate cuts

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16 February, 2017

The NBS said consumer price inflation rose by 2.5% from a year earlier, a figure that was higher than the 2.1% increase of December and market expectations for an acceleration to 2.4%.

United Kingdom consumer price inflation jumped to 1.8 per cent in the year to January from a rise of 1.6 per cent in the year to December, as the slump in the pound since last June's Brexit referendum continued to trickle through to the high street.

However, fuel group inflation accelerated 18.14% in January from 8.65% a month ago, due to rising petrol and diesel prices.

The Bank of England forecast earlier this month that inflation will rise above 2.7 percent in around a year's time as Britain's vote to leave the European Union pushes up the cost of imports. Higher crude oil prices will continue to be instrumental in these developments. Core inflation rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months.

"We think the People's Bank of China has gradually shifted to a tightening bias, although we do not expect any aggressive tightening as inflation is still under control", its note said.

Downward pressure on CPI came from a drop in the price of clothing and footwear, which edged down by 4.2 per cent between December and January in contrast to a smaller fall of 3.1 per cent the year before.

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Data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) showed food inflation continued to contract by 0.56% in January against a contraction of 0.7% in December.

The prices in this category had risen by 3.67 per cent in December.

Headline consumer prices rose by 0.6% over the month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nancy Curtin, Chief Investment Officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, commented: "With inflation coming in at a two year peak, higher living costs are set to hit consumers' wallets, particularly given the fact wage growth just isn't keeping up".

"With input prices paid by United Kingdom manufacturers and output prices received by manufacturing businesses on the up, consumer price inflation is likely to rise further over the months ahead". The rate of price rise in meat and fish was 2.98 per cent.


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