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Financial News: UK Inflation Steady At 1.5%

UK Inflation Steady At 1.5%

12/18/2019 - 05:24:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK consumer prices increased at a steady pace in November, as expected, while output price inflation continued to ease, official data showed Wednesday. The consumer price index rose 1.5 percent year-on-year, the same pace of increase as seen in October, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed. The rate remained below the Bank of England's 2 percent target.

The 1.5 percent was the lowest rate since November 2016, when it was 1.2 percent.

Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, also remained stable in November, at 1.7 percent.

On a monthly basis, overall consumer prices gained 0.2 percent, offsetting a 0.2 percent fall in October. The monthly rate also matched expectations.

The steady inflation may persuade the central bank to remain on hold on Thursday, Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, with inflation well below target, little sign of underlying price pressures and GDP growth running below trend, an interest rate cut on Thursday should not be completely ruled out, the economist added.

Another report from ONS showed that output price inflation eased to 0.5 percent in November, while the rate was expected to remain at 0.8 percent. Despite slowing for the fourth consecutive month, the annual rate has remained positive for 41 consecutive months.

Month-on-month, output prices dropped for the third straight month in November. Output prices were down 0.2 percent after easing 0.1 percent. Prices were expected to remain flat.

At the same time, input prices fell at a slower pace of 2.7 percent, following a 5 percent drop in October. Economists had forecast an annual fall of 2.2 percent. On month, prices slid 0.3 percent, in contrast to a 0.1 percent expected rise.

In a separate communiqué, the ONS said house prices increased at the slowest pace in more than seven years in October. House prices grew only 0.7 percent in October. London logged the lowest annual rate, -1.6 percent.

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