Higher energy bills and transport costs drive up United Kingdom inflation

23 Mai, 2019, 06:25 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Thomas Pugh, UK economist at Capital Economics, said: "While we suspect that inflation is likely to remain above the 2 per cent [target] for the rest of the year, we don't think that it will force the Bank of England into action anytime soon".

Surging gas and electricity prices have pushed inflation to its highest level this year, with the Consumer Prices Index hitting 2.1pc in April.

Prices rose at an annual rate of 2.1 per cent in April, marginally below the 2.2 per cent forecast by Reuters' poll of economists, but up from 1.9 per cent in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Sterling and government bonds were little changed by the data as core inflation, which excludes energy and food prices, held steady at 1.8% for the third month in a row. Economists had anticipated that the lifting of the cap would add 0.3 percentage...

Electricity and gas prices were the biggest driver of inflation last month, the ONS said.

The Bank of England said earlier this month that it was expecting growth and inflation to pick up over the next two years and that interest rate increases could be "more frequent" than expected.

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The ONS said the upward effect on inflation of energy and transport was partly offset by cheaper computer games and package holidays. The unexpectedly strong performance of the United Kingdom economy, however, has increased the Bank of England's ability to sustain an interest rate rise if it's deemed necessary.

The ONS figures also suggested less short-term pressure in the pipeline for consumer prices than expected.

"Rising inflation alongside slowing wage growth is a concern, as it squeezes real household incomes".

The ONS said house prices in March rose by an annual 1.4% across the United Kingdom as a whole compared with 1.0% in February, marking the first increase in house price inflation since September.

But Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the MPC could not be complacent about price rises and that he expects a rate rise in November. These were up 3.8% in the year to April compared to a 3.2% increase in the year to March.

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