United Kingdom inflation beats expectations

Housing inflation was recorded at 8.33 per cent in January as against 8.25 per cent a month ago and "fuel and light" inflation rate moderated to 7.73 per cent in January from 7.90 per cent a month ago, CSO data showed.

"Although food inflation also showed some softening in the month of January 2018 to 4.6% from 4.9% last month, the prices of some key items consumed regularly remained at elevated levels", Principal Economist at India Ratings & Research Sunil Kumar Sinha said in a note.

Paul Hollingsworth at Capital Economics said CPI inflation will gradually drift downwards over the course of 2018 as the impact of the post-referendum drop in the pound continues to fade.

'Inflation was unchanged in January, as a smaller rise in motor fuel prices helped to a keep a lid on overall United Kingdom price growth.

"Inflation's now been above target for 12 straight months".

"UK inflation came in higher than expected in January, adding further pressure for (Bank of England) policymakers to hike interest rates again, possibly as soon as May", said IHS Markit economist Christopher Williamson.

Mr Brettell said it now looks like the next rise "may well happen in May".

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 percent in January, and 2.1 percent over the past twelve months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

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"The growth in the cost of raw materials also slowed, with the prices of some imported materials falling", ONS Senior Statistician James Tucker said.

In a worst-case scenario, consumers and businesses might start pulling back on spending as they see prices rise rapidly in the coming months (or years).

A slight easing of food prices helped lower India's retail inflation in January to 5.07 per cent even as factory production growth slowed somewhat in December to 7.1 per cent, according to official data on Monday.

The Sterling traded higher against the USA dollar on Tuesday on news of the British inflation rate rallying with the pound recording a high of 1.3900 from trading at around 1.3883 from the earlier trading session.

The pound skidded to a three-week trough below US$1.38 on Friday after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned a transition deal was far from assured.

Inflation rate for "food and beverages" moderated to 4.58 per cent in January from 4.85 per cent in the previous month, while that for "pan, tobacco and intoxicants" eased to 7.58 per cent in January from 7.73 per cent a month ago. The growth for November, 2017 was revised upwards to 8.8 per cent from provisional estimates of 8.4 per cent released last month.

Calum Bennie, savings expert at mutual investment group Scottish Friendly, said: "The negative disparity between wage increases and the cost of living goes on, which turns the heat up on (BoE governor Mark Carney) to raise interest rates in an effort to bring down inflation".

The Fed raised rates three times in 2017, each time by 25 th of 1% and is commonly used to calculate changes in interest rates.

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