UK inflation falls to 4.8%

UK inflation dropped to 4.8% during November, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is a fall on the 5% consumer prices index annual inflation that was reported in October, itself a decline from 5.2% in September, and was driven by falls in the prices of food, petrol, clothing and furniture, household equipment and maintenance.

The rising costs of domestic heating and off-sales of alcohol acted as upward pressures on inflation.

Retail prices index annual inflation came in at 5.2% in November, down from 5.4% in October.

The Bank of England predicts that inflation will remain above the government-set target of 2% in the near term but expects it to fall sharply below this by the end of 2012 as temporary factors such as high commodity prices ease.

Howard Archer, the chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, says the UK “desperately” needs moderating inflation to offer some support to the weakened economy and to ease the pressures on consumer spending power.

“Inflation should continue to retreat markedly as 2012 progresses due to the waning impact of sharp oil, commodity and food prices in late-2010/early-2011 and due to underlying price pressures being diluted by weakened economic activity and muted wage growth amid high and rising unemployment.”

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