Saturday, 19 October, 2019

Sterling falls to 10-month low as inflation unchanged

Sterling falls to 10-month low as inflation unchanged Sterling falls to 10-month low as inflation unchanged
Russell Knight | 19 July, 2018, 15:53

Despite motor fuel prices rising to their highest since September 2014, annual consumer price inflation held steady in June at 2.4 percent, the Office for National Statistics said (ONS).

Summer sales meant clothes prices dropped sharply in June, and there was also drag from computer games. "The lagged transmission of higher crude oil prices, an uptick in cotton prices and electricity tariffs, the hardening of inflation for manufactured products as well as an unfavourable base effect, led to the sharp pickup in the WPI inflation to a 54 month high in June 2018", said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA, as reported by MoneyControl.

Wage growth for British workers has slowed down to its worst pace in six months despite the record employment, making it more hard for the Central Bank (BoE) to decide whether to raise interest rates for the second time since the start of the global financial crisis.

"Now it looks odds-on that the MPC will hold fire yet again".

Prices usually fall between May and June as summer sales get under way, but the 2.3% drop this year compares with a 1.1% fall a year ago, and is the largest decline during the same period since 2012.

That was largely down to the rising price of fuel, with petrol prices hitting their highest in four years in the month. While the central bank worries that growth is close to the modest pace at which it will start to push up inflation, Wednesday's data brought little sign of this. Month-on-month, output prices gained 0.1 percent from May, when it rose by 0.5 percent.

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Mr Tombs was pointing to figures which showed that BRC's non-food shop price index jumped by 0.9 per cent month on month, marking the biggest June increase since the BRC's records began in 2006. That's particularly the case after yesterday's wage growth data emerged weaker than expected.

But economic growth since 2016´s Brexit vote has been weak by historic standards due to high inflation and business uncertainty, and on Monday the International Monetary Fund cut Britain´s growth forecast for 2018 to 1.4 percent.

'August's expected rate hike is, therefore, even less of a dead cert than it was before today's surprise inflation print.

The Retail Prices Index, a separate measure of inflation, was 3.4 per cent last month, up from 3.3 per cent in May.

Headline WPI inflation is expected to ease to 4.1 per cent in March 2019 and average at 4.5 per cent in this fiscal against 2.9 per cent in 2017-18, according to a Kotak Economic Research report.

Separate data from the ONS showed that average house prices in the United Kingdom in May grew at the slowest annual rate since August 2013.

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