United Kingdom inflation falls to 1.8%

13 February, 2019, 17:05 | Author: Regina Silva

The RBI also reduced repo rate by 25 bps, after retail inflation hit an 18-month low in December to rise 2.19 percent, led by softening crude oil prices and cheaper food items.

The data released by the Central Statistics Office further said the inflation in the "fuel and light" category also fell to 2.2 per cent in January this year from 4.54 per cent in December 2018.

Inflation peaked at a five-year high of 3.1 percent in November 2017, when households faced much greater price increases than the European Union average. In its February 7 policy statement, it projected consumer inflation at 3.2-3.4 per cent in the first half of next financial year, beginning April 1.

"The further falling back in inflation facilitates the Bank of England maintaining a "wait and see" approach on interest rates until after the United Kingdom leaves the EU", Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club consultancy, said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces tough general elections by May, has announced an annual transfer of 750 billion rupees ($11 billion) to millions of farmers, and tax benefits for the middle class, which many economists say could spur both consumer spending and inflation.

At the pumps, motorists had lower fuel costs last month, with petrol down by 2.1p per litre on the month to 119.6p.

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Manufacturers' raw materials costs were 2.9 percent higher than in January 2018, the slowest increase since June 2016, the month of the Brexit referendum. Growth in the mining sector declined 1%.

The "food and beverages" segment registered a deflation of 1.29 per cent in January as against 1.49 per cent deflation a month ago.

The prices of vegetables declined 13.32% while prices of sugar and confectionery dropped 8.16%.

Experts said headline CPI is expected to stay benign in the coming months and provides room for further rate cut by the RBI.

"Unlike when the cap is lowered, energy firms don't have to automatically raise prices when the cap is lifted". RBI has recently revised the trajectory of CPI sharply lower and delivered a cut in policy rate.

"US CPI for January is due out this afternoon".

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