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Consumer Prices Post Biggest Rise in Nearly Four Years

17 February 2017, 02:38 | Melvin Schneider

Consumer Prices Post Biggest Rise in Nearly Four Years

High WPI inflation works against further rate cuts

Core inflation rose to a 28-month peak of 2.7% in January and at 18.1%, price pressure in fuel touched the highest in the current series, although food inflation hit -0.54% in January, the official data released on Tuesday showed.

The CPI has remained above 3 percent for 11 consecutive months and was also higher than the national figure for 37 months in a row.

Overall food prices were flat between December and January after falling 0.6% a year ago, as the sharp drop in costs, triggered in part by the supermarket price war, ground to a halt.

"The costs of raw materials and goods leaving factories both rose significantly, mainly thanks to higher oil prices and the weakened pound", said Prestwood.

United Kingdom inflation rose less than expected in January, but continued to climb closer to the Bank of England's 2.0% target, which looks likely to be breached in the coming months.

On a month-on-month basis, PPI rose 0.8 percent, slower than December's 1.6 percent, the first slowdown in five months.

Food inflation rose by 2.7% over the year, up from 2.4% in the previous month, while non-food prices jumped by 2.5%, again above the 2.0% level reported previously.

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Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields US10YT=RR rose to a two-and-a-half week high of 2.524 percent after the data and were last down 9/32 in price to yield 2.5004 percent.

Economists expect commodity prices to push WPI even further and the central bank to keep rates on hold for a while.

Consumer inflation is forecast to have risen to 2.4 percent in January and producer price numbers on Tuesday were generally higher than expected.

Excluding food and energy, the index saw a monthly gain of 0.4 percent. But it is up sharply from 0.3 per cent in May past year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 107 points, or 0.5 percent, to 20,611. 'These prices look set to feed through to consumers in coming months, ' he said.

Compared with the same month past year, costs paid by Americans for goods and services rose 2.5 percent, the most since March 2012. It is then expected to fall back to 2.4% in three years' time, before returning close to the target over the subsequent year. Even excluding the more volatile categories of food and energy, prices were still up by nearly as much at 2.3 percent.



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