Manufacturers' input costs rose slightly faster than expected in November and at the fastest annual rate since July, official data showed, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said that annual producer input price inflation picked up to nine per cent from 8.2 per cent in October, above economists' forecasts of a rise to 8.5 per cent. There were also upward revisions to the prior month.
A rise in crude oil costs was the biggest driver, accounting for more than a third of the annual rise. Imported metals and chemicals were the second and third biggest drivers.
Crude oil was also the biggest driver of the monthly increase, although this was partly offset by a fall in the cost of home-produced food products. Prices of imported materials as a whole rose 0.6 per cent on the month.
Despite the slightly faster than expected rise in input prices, Friday's output price figures were slightly softer than expected, suggesting firms are managing to absorb some of the higher costs.
Producer output price inflation fell unexpectedly to 3.9 per cent in November from October's four per cent, after the cost of petroleum products rose more slowly than in November 2009.
City A.M. Reporter