Inflation falls sharply to 2.6 per cent

20 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) inflation came in at 2.6 percent for June, down from 2.9 percent in May.

The Consumer Prices Index was 2.6%, compared with an expected reading of 2.8% and a level of 2.9% in May.

Jonathan Athow, ONS deputy national statistician, said: "Today's fall in inflation is mainly due to drops in petrol and diesel prices".

The surge in consumer prices in the previous year has been driven by the devaluation of sterling by around 13 per cent against the dollar following the Brexit vote last June, but the latest figures suggest that influence may finally be waning, with producer price inflation easing to 9.9 per cent. With wage growth still muted, the slowdown in inflation suggests that the decline in British real wages may have started to translate into a slower consumer inflation. Other contributors included the price of recreational and cultural goods and services, such as games, toys and hobbies. The underlying trend continues to be one of weak inflation as there is little wage growth in the UK.

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"The bigger picture hasn't really changed: despite this month's blip, inflation is heading towards 3 percent, and economic growth has slowed to below-trend quarterly rates, leaving the MPC with a hard balancing act", Sam Hill, economist with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in London, told Xinhua.

"Pressure to raise Bank of England interest rates will continue and even at the lower rate of 2.6 per cent annual price inflation is higher than average wage growth across the United Kingdom".

"We continue to believe that an interest rate rise before the end of the year is a distinct possibility".

"If this fails to materialise the economy could see a stronger second half to the year".

Ben Brettell, Senior Economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: "UK inflation fell unexpectedly in June to 2.6%, easing the pressure on squeezed household budgets and substantially reducing the likelihood of an August interest rate rise".

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He said: "It is crucial that the monetary policy committee holds its nerve on interest rates".

THE pound fell sharply this morning as lower than expected inflation figures were announced.

In 2016, Croatia's consumer prices fell by an annual average of 1.1% after a 0.5% contraction in 2015.

Inflation may have fallen to 2.6 per cent in June, but it is still above the government's February target and eating into savings, experts have warned.

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