UK inflation edges up to 0.1%

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UK nflation turned positive in November to 0.1 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The consumer prices index measure of inflation rose by 0.1 per cent in the year to November, compared to a fall of 0.1 per cent in year to October.

The ONS says movements in transport costs, alcohol, and tobacco prices were the main contributors to the rate rise, while falling clothing prices suppressed a further increase.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior economist Ben Brettell says: “The plus sign on today’s inflation figure matters little.

He adds: “It now looks likely that inflation will remain low for some time yet, though it is expected to climb slowly in the coming months.

“It means the Bank of England is likely to wait longer before raising rates. I see base rate remaining at 0.5 per cent into the second half of next year, and quite possibly even longer than that.”

Centre for Economics and Business Research economist Nina Skero says: “Many observers of today’s CPI release are wondering what impact it will have on the Bank of England’s monetary stance. This is an especially current question given that the US Federal Reserve will almost certainly raise interest rates at this week’s meeting.

“Judging by the latest data, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee still has some wiggle room before inflationary pressures ruffle its dovish feathers. However, this room for manoeuvre may not be as big as some believe it to be.”