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

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

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

Among 16 to 24 year olds, the unemployment rate was down from 13.7 per cent of March 2016, to 12.5 per cent.

The WPI-based inflation, based on the new series, slipped to a four-month low of 3.85 per cent in April as both food articles and manufactured items eased.

Yesterday's inflation figures showed a jump of 2.7 per cent. It also underlined the gloomy message from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who last week stressed consumers were in for "challenging times" this year.

"As a result, consumers' spending will be under pressure, especially for discretionary items like leisure".

Britain's opposition Labour Party has made weak wage growth one of its main election themes.

The Bank's regional agents report said the pound's fall had bolstered manufacturing exports, as British goods become cheaper for overseas buyers.

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"This means that the United Kingdom economy is losing considerable momentum which as of yet has not been offset by stronger exports".

Factors were higher air travel prices, given the timing of Easter, and rises in prices for clothes and electricity.

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The fashion sector suffered most seeing the highest rise in prices for six years.

Separately, Wednesday's ONS data provided some relief for employers who have said they are anxious that migrant workers are being discouraged from coming to Britain because of the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote and uncertainty about their future status in the country.

Food prices rose 0.4 per cent in March from the previous month.

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The ONS said that the UK's consumer price index - the key measure of inflation - was 2.7%, up from 2.3% in March, and above the 2.6% forecast by economists before the release.

"It was 0.51 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March (16.60) per cent".

In comparison, average weekly earnings excluding bonuses increased by 2.1 percent.

CPIH is the ONS's preferred measure of inflation, which includes costs associated with living in, maintaining and owning a home.

Retail inflation based on consumer price index (CPI) dropped to 2.99% in April over past year, mainly due to lower cost of food items, including pulses and vegetables.

The rise keeps the rate above the Bank of England's 2% target and comes after CPI paused at 2.3% in February and March.

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The Bank has also said rates could rise more quickly than expected if Brexit negotiations go smoothly, although this has been treated with scepticism by financial markets. "Both of these conditions are being satisfied at present".

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