Inflation climbs to 3.1% in November; highest level in five years

Retail inflation rises to a 15-month high of 4.88

The rate of retail food inflation during November stood at 4.41 per cent on a year-on-year basis, as compared 1.90 per cent the previous month owing to a rise in the prices of items like vegetables, milk-based products, cereals, meat and fish.

The retail inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index for November hit a 13-month high of 4.88% as against 3.5% in October, on higher food and fuel prices.

This comes after many economists stated their belief that inflation had peaked following the Bank of England's (BoE) decision to raise interest rates from their historic low of 0.25% to 0.5% last month.

The inflation data comes only a day before the release of the latest snapshot of Britain's labour market, which is expected to show average weekly earnings excluding bonuses only grew 2.2% year-on-year in October.

"At least it'll be an easy letter to write, and he'll have a ready answer as to why inflation is so high - we're still seeing the effect of the weaker pound filtering through to prices".

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He added that the prices of raw materials and goods leaving factories continued to increase as oil and petrol prices continued to rise.

The October bi-monthly statement projected inflation to rise and range between 4.2-4.6 per cent in the second half of this year, including the impact of increase in house rent allowance (HRA) by the Centre.

United Kingdom inflation data for November will be published at GMT 0930 and the Reuters consensus shows an average expectation of a 3 percent increase year-on-year. The inflation in the segment was a only 7.47 per cent in October.

Aberdeen Standard Investments chief economist Lucy O'Carroll says the Bank of England has a "tricky tightrope to walk". Too much inflation could threaten the Bank's credibility and therefore its grip on the economy. "In the next quarter the chances of inflation moving close to 5 percent are high, and with global headwinds such as the reduction of quantitative easing, the Reserve Bank may not change its stance till June next year".

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

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