Clothing and fuel drives inflation to 1.2 per cent

Rising fuel prices have contributed to an increase in inflation

INFLATION rebounded to a two-year high last month, driven by a hike in the price of clothes and fuel.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation hit a higher-than-expected 1.2 per cent in November after easing back to 0.9 per cent in October from 1 per cent in September.

Economists had been pencilling in growth of 1.1 per cent.

The ONS said a stronger performance from the pound last month took the edge off import prices for manufacturers despite total input costs climbing 12.9 per cent in the year to November, compared to a 12.4 per cent rise in October.

Sterling's plunge to 31-year lows since the UK voted to leave the European Union is expected to push up the cost of living as manufacturers pass on higher costs to consumers.

Mike Prestwood, ONS head of inflation, said: "November's slight rally in the value of sterling eased the inflationary pressure on businesses importing raw materials but consumer prices continued to edge upwards, due mainly to the rising cost of clothing and fuel."

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) - a separate measure of inflation, which includes housing costs - was 2.2 per cent in November, up from 2 per cent in October.

The main driver of the rise in CPI came from clothing and footwear price tags, which rose 1.6 per cent between October and November this year, compared with a 0.1 per cent fall over the period in 2015.

Retailers held fewer sales in November this year in contrast to last year, while the amount of clothes on sale in October was higher, the ONS said.

Rising fuel prices were also pushing up the cost of living, with petrol prices rising 1.6p per litre to 115.4p per litre between October and November, after falling by 1.5p per litre a year ago.

Diesel prices also stepped up 2p per litre to 118p per litre over the period in contrast to a 0.6p fall last year.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages also pushed higher, climbing 0.4 per cent in November this year, compared with a 0.1 per cent rise in the same month last year.

The move comes on the back of a jump in the price of bread and cereals, including garlic bread and pizza, with milk, cheese and eggs also becoming pricier.


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