LONDON, FEB 14 - British consumer price inflation fell as forecast in January, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.
HOWARD ARCHER, IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT:
January's further marked fall in consumer price inflation to a 14-month low of 3.6 percent is good news for the economy as it eases the squeeze on consumers' purchasing power and is supportive to the Bank of England's decision to approve a further 50 billion pound of Quantitative Easing last week.
And the fact that consumer price inflation is currently falling in line with expectations eases some of the concern that it could prove sticky over the coming months.
We expect consumer price inflation to trend down steadily to stand around 2.0 percent by the end of 2012 helped by the ongoing waning impact of sharply rising oil, commodity and food prices in late-2010/early-2011, and by underlying price pressures being diluted by weak economic activity and elevated unemployment. However, much will obviously depend on what happens with oil prices over the coming weeks and months.
ALAN CLARKE, SCOTIA CAPITAL
It was on the high side of expectations on all three measures but I don't think it's that surprising.
The real message to take away from this is that CPI inflation is slowing sharply but it reinforces the feeling that the downside is quite limited once we get past the middle of the year.
I certainly don't think that CPI will fall below 2 percent as the Bank forecast in its last inflation report.
I think (yesterday) was the last instalment of QE. Inflation looks to be stickier than the Bank is expecting, growth is doing pretty well and I think the urgency for fresh stimulus is fading.
PHILIP SHAW, INVESTEC:
Inflation is falling back as the Bank of England expected. The figures are broadly consistent with the MPC's central projection in November.
There are a couple of easy wins over next couple of months that should ensure that inflation continues to fall.
What is more of a difficult question is whether we are going to see inflation continue falling over second half of the year.
Underlying inflation is relatively sticky. We don't see inflation target being hit consistently from the end of this year as the BoE is currently projecting.
On the growth side consumers were hit very badly by high inflation last year, that is a phenomenon which should not recur this year.
We expect that we will probably see further quantitative easing. The main risk that we see to this forecast is that we see a sustained upturn.