UK Inflation Hits Four-Year-Low

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UK Inflation
Customers shop for groceries in a supermarket in London on Oct.18, 2011.

The U.K.’s annual consumer price inflation, or CPI, in November fell to 2.1 percent, the lowest rate in four years, according to official data released Tuesday, and it missed market expectations for inflation to hold steady at the 2.2 percent rate registered in October.

On a monthly basis, November CPI remained unchanged at the 0.1 percent rate registered in October to miss analysts' forecast for a 0.2 percent increase. Meanwhile, the producer price index output, which measures a change in the prices of goods produced by manufacturers, fell 0.3 percent in November on a monthly basis, compared to a decline of 0.3 percent in October, and against analysts’ expectations for the index to fall 1.2 percent.

Producer price index input, which measures the change in the price of goods and raw materials purchased by manufacturers, dropped by 0.7 percent in November, compared to a revised 0.4 percent fall in October, and against expectations for a 0.5 percent drop.

The Office for National Statistics, which released the data, said that slower increases in food and energy prices caused inflation to moderate, but added that the impact of recently announced hikes in energy prices were yet to reflect on the index.

“While the two biggest utility companies raised their prices last month, the date when the ONS recorded prices is likely to have fallen before these increases occurred. Meanwhile, the downward trend of agricultural commodity prices over the last year suggests that food inflation could fall significantly over the coming months,” Samuel Tomb, an economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note. “There are also signs from some surveys that underlying price pressures are weakening.”

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