UK inflation stays elevated at 3pc, food costs rise

Business | 14 Nov 2017 6:06 pm

Official figures show that inflation in Britain held steady at 3 percent in the year to October, just below the level that would have forced the governor of the Bank of England to write to the government explaining why prices are rising by more than a percentage point above target.

It still remains at a five-year high. The cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 4.1 percent over the past 12 months.

Office for National Statistics, head of inflation, Mike Prestwood said: "Inflation remains at a five year high with rising food prices offset by a fall in the cost of fuel.

"The rise in the cost of raw materials and goods leaving factories both slowed, with crude oil and petroleum prices both increasing less than at this time last year.

"House price growth increased in September, with property prices in the North West and South West of England increasing most strongly. However, growth slowed again in London with the housing market in the capital continuing to cool.”

The reading from the ONS was unexpected. Most economists had predicted a modest increase to 3.1 percent, which would have prompted an exchange of letters between Bank Governor Mark Carney (pictured), and Treasury chief Philip Hammond.

Earlier this month, the central bank raised its main interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.5 percent. That was its first increase in a decade and was due to the fact that inflation is above the 2 percent target. -AP/The Standard

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