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November inflation up at 4.88%, factory output growth dips

12 December 2017

The ONS said the largest upward contribution to change in the CPI rate came from air fares, which fell between October and November but by less than a year ago.

The retail inflation for the month of November reached 4.88 per cent, touching a 15-month high on the back on rise in food and fuel prices.

France's Socgen said in a research note it expected inflation to hit 3.2 percent, an outcome which would require Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, to explain himself in writing to the finance minister, Philip Hammond. The rate was expected to remain at 3 percent. That's up from 3 per cent in October and the highest since March 2012.

That, in turn, could prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates again next year - not ideal for the economy when it is struggling with the uncertainties of Brexit and real household incomes are falling as price rises outstrip wage increases.

Vegetables during the month became costlier by a staggering 22.48 per cent, while prices of milk-based products rose by 4.52 per cent.

- Wednesday's weekly earnings and employment release will be closely watched ahead of the Bank of England's MPC report on Thursday.

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The ONS said the largest upward contributor to rising inflation between October and November was transport costs, which increased by 0.1%, compared with a fall of 0.3% during the same period past year.

Input prices are up 7.3 per cent from a year earlier but competition has forced manufacturers to absorb some of pressure, with output prices increasing just 3 per cent over the same period.

"That means that further interest rate rises are definitely not off the table".

"It is quite possible that inflation is now close to its peak".

"Too much inflation could threaten the Bank's credibility and therefore its grip on the economy", she says.

"The market had geared up for an above-3-percent inflation reading today anyway - if you look at the spread of top-rated economists, about half of them were looking for 3.1 percent", said Nomura currency strategist Jordan Rochester. Month-on-month, input prices gained 1.8 percent following October's 1 percent rise.

November inflation up at 4.88%, factory output growth dips