UK Inflation Reaches Decade High

UK inflation accelerated more-than-expected to a decade high in October, adding pressure on the central bank to act on interest rate as early as in December.

Consumer price inflation advanced to 4.2 percent from 3.1 percent in September, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed on Wednesday. This was the highest rate since November 2011.

The rate was above the economists’ forecast of 3.9 percent and over twice the Bank of England’s 2 percent target.

The central bank projected inflation to peak at around 5 percent in April 2022 but to fall back materially from the second half of 2022.

When coupled with yesterday’s decent labor market release, the bigger-than-expected leap in CPI inflation in October makes an interest rate hike in December even more likely, Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

That said, markets have gone too far by pricing in interest rates rising to 1.00-1.25 percent by the end of next year, the economist added.

The upward pressure to consumer price inflation came mainly from the housing and household services, transport and restaurants and hotels.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were up 1.1 percent versus September’s 0.3 percent rise and economists’ forecast of 0.8 percent.

Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, rose to 3.4 percent in October from 2.9 percent in September. This was also well above the forecast of 3.1 percent.

Another report from the ONS showed that factory gate inflation hit its highest level in more than a decade in October driven by petroleum product prices.

Output price inflation increased to 8 percent from 7 percent in September and stayed above the 7.3 percent economists had forecast. The 8 percent inflation was the biggest since September 2011.

Similarly, input prices advanced at a pace of 13.0 percent annually, following the 11.9 percent increase a month ago. Input price inflation was the strongest since September 2008.

Month-on-month, output prices gained 1.1 percent, the fastest since February 2013, compared to a 0.7 percent rise in September. Economists had forecast prices to increase moderately by 0.8 percent.

Likewise, input prices climbed 1.4 percent on month after a 0.8 percent rise in the previous month. The expected rate was 1.1 percent.

In September, average house prices grew 11.8 percent from the last year, up from 10.2 percent in August, the ONS said in a separate communiqué.

The average UK house price was at a record high of GBP 270,000 in September, which was GBP 28,000 higher than this time last year.

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