LONDON (Reuters) – British inflation jumped unexpectedly to a six-month excessive in August, pushed up by bigger-than-usual seasonal will increase in sea and air fares and sending sterling above $1.32 for the primary time since late July.
FILE PHOTO: Passengers stroll via Heathrow Terminal Three in London, Britain May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall
Consumer value inflation rose at an annual price of two.7 % in August, in contrast with 2.5 % in July, the Office for National Statistics mentioned – above all forecasts in a Reuters ballot of economists that had pointed to a fall to 2.four %.
The ONS additionally mentioned British home costs rose on the weakest annual price in practically 5 years, dragged down by the most important drop in London home costs since 2009 – the newest signal of a slack housing market for the reason that 2016 Brexit vote.
Wednesday’s knowledge jolted buyers. British government bond costs and equities fell.
The figures are additionally prone to shock Bank of England officers who had anticipated inflation to chill to 2.four % in August.
The BoE final month raised rates of interest for the second time for the reason that monetary disaster however pointed to solely gradual future will increase because it expects inflation to float down to close its 2 % goal in three years’ time.
Jeremy Thomson-Cook, an economist with foreign money agency World First, mentioned the soar in inflation in all probability mirrored a pick-up in spending by customers throughout Britain’s unusually scorching summer time.
“I doubt this is sustainable in the longer term,” he mentioned, noting the persevering with squeeze on family spending. “I don’t think this has made Bank of England rate expectations any more concrete.”
The rise in inflation in August represents a setback to the modest restoration in real-terms wage development that has helped to assist financial development this yr.
The fall within the worth of the pound in August on renewed considerations about Brexit disadvantaged customers of the advantage of a fall in oil costs in annual phrases, the ONS figures confirmed.
“Consumers paid more for theatre shows, sea fares and new autumn clothing last month,” ONS statistician Mike Hardie mentioned.
Consumer value inflation hit a five-year excessive of three.1 % final November, when the inflationary impact of the pound’s tumble after Britain’s June 2016 referendum vote to exit the EU reached its peak.
The ONS mentioned home costs in July rose by an annual three.1 % throughout the United Kingdom as an entire in contrast with three.2 % in June – the smallest enhance since August 2013.
House costs in London alone fell zero.7 % year-on-year in July, the most important drop since September 2009.
Despite August’s rise within the headline price of inflation, the ONS knowledge prompt there might be some reduction for customers within the months forward.
Prices at British manufacturing facility gates rose 2.9 % year-on-year in August, the weakest enhance in 4 months. Manufacturers’ prices for supplies and vitality additionally rose on the slowest tempo in 4 months.