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UK inflation falls far more than expected, lowest since Sept 2021

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UK inflation falls far more than expected, lowest since Sept 2021 By Reuters

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Published Dec 20, 2023 07:12
Updated Dec 20, 2023 07:27

© Reuters. A shopping trolley is pushed around a supermarket in London, Britain May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

By Andy Bruce and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) -British inflation fell by more than any economist polled by Reuters predicted in November, pushing the headline rate to its lowest since September 2021, according to data that will further fuel bets on Bank of England interest rate cuts next year.

The annual rate of consumer price increases fell to 3.9% from 4.6% in October, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, while closely-watched core and services measures of inflation also fell.

The headline inflation reading was below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists which had pointed to a figure of 4.4%. The pound shed almost half a cent against the U.S. dollar, falling from $1.271 to $1.266.

BoE officials have been cautious about whether recent signs of cooling inflation truly represent the risk of persistent, longer-run price pressures receding.

“With inflation more than halved we are starting to remove inflationary pressures from the economy,” finance minister Jeremy Hunt said.

Core inflation also cooled by an unexpectedly large amount, falling to 5.1% from 5.7%.

The rate of services inflation – closely watched by the Bank of England – fell to 6.3% from 6.6%.

UK inflation falls far more than expected, lowest since Sept 2021

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