UK consumer inflation rises to 3 ½-year high of 2.7 percent


The unemployment rate in the period between January and March unexpectedly fell to its lowest level in almost 42 years at 4.6 per cent. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the rate to remain at 4.7 per cent. Inflationary pressures in the United Kingdom have risen sharply following the pound's dramatic depreciation after last June's shock Brexit vote.

Matt Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Having hovered close to zero back in 2015, inflation has really picked up in 2017, doubling in the last six months alone and now at its highest level for nearly four years".

An earlier government statement claimed March data pointed to an "annual house price increase of 4.1 percent which takes the average property value in the £215,847 ($278,000)". This is on top of rising clothing, vehicle tax, and electricity prices that affected overall consumer prices.

The Bank of England expects wages to rise by 2% this year before picking up in 2018 and 2019.

That was fractionally higher than inflation in March of 2.3 per cent, but on Tuesday the ONS reported that prices were up 2.7 per cent in April, meaning that inflation-adjusted wages are now likely to be negative for the first time since 2014. "But rising prices are hammering pay packets", Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O'Grady said.

Economic growth slowed in the first quarter but the labor market performed reasonably well.

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Malaysia's core inflation is expected to stay relatively modest and the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to maintain its policy rate at 3.00 percent throughout 2017. On a month on month basis, the highest rise in prices were dominated by food items including coffee, tea and cocoa, potatoe, yam and tubers, bread and cereals, milk cheese and eggs and meat and fish.

Downward pressure also came from prices at the pumps, with petrol falling by 1.8p to 117.4p per litre in April and diesel also dropping by 1.8p to 120.3p per litre.

Despite inflation running well above its target, Boyle said he did not expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates above their current level of 0.25 per cent "any time soon".

The Consumer Price Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) hit its highest level since June 2013 at 2.6% in April, up from 2.3% in March.

Excluding bonuses, earnings rose by 2.1 per cent year on year, the weakest increase since July of last year and below economists' expectations.

There was a decline in fuel prices for the month while prices for clothing and electricity were important components in pushing prices higher.