UK inflation remained steady at 1.5 per cent in November, marking no change from October, according to official data released today.
While the figure is slightly higher than expectations of 1.4 per cent, it remains below the Bank of England’s target of two per cent.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) saw its biggest contributions from food, recreational and culture spending, while hotel bills and cigarette spending fell.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said: “Prices rose between October and November 2019 by more than between the same two months a year ago, especially for sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery.”
Those prices rose 1.8 per cent this year, compared with a rise of 0.1 per cent last year.
“Within this group, boxes and cartons of chocolates, and chocolate covered ice cream bars drove the upward movement,” the statistics body explained.
Spending on women’s clothes rose just 1.3 per cent between October and November, compared to a 2.1 per cent jump a year ago. Formal trousers and strappy tops contributed the biggest rises to UK inflation, the ONS said.
“After three consecutive lower than expected readings for this metric this represents a small upside beat,” said XTB analyst David Cheetham.
He added that the UK inflation figure comes close enough to the Bank’s target price to not upset the bank’s monetary policy committee ahead of tomorrow’s interest rate-setting meeting.
“After being widely criticised for becoming politicised following the Bank’s comments on the EU referendum it would not be at all surprising if they decide that the best course of action is no action at all,” Cheetham added.
More to follow.