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Inflation falls for second consecutive month


Slower growth in food, transport and clothing prices helped push down inflation

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Annual consumer price inflation fell to 4.8 percent in November, in line with analysts' forecasts and its lowest since August, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

As anticipated by the Bank of England, inflation eased in November for a second successive month, bolstering expectations the Bank may be able to inject more stimulus to the sluggish economy next year.

Slower growth in food, transport and clothing prices helped push down annual consumer price inflation after inflation eased in October to 5.0 percent for the first time since June, ONS said.

The Bank of England has forecast that weak economic growth will push inflation below its 2 percent target by the end of 2012, leading most economists to believe the Bank will inject an extra £75 billion into the faltering economy in February, when its current asset purchases are

Earlier on Tuesday Bank chief economist Spencer Dale said that inflation is likely to fall to just over 3 percent by March, but added that the inflation path after that will be key for the future course of monetary policy.

The biggest downward pressures on annual inflation came from food and non-alcoholic beverages prices, which rose at the slowest pace since July 2010, as well as from transport, clothing and furniture prices, the ONS said.

The largest upward contributors were alcohol and tobacco.

Prices of electricity, gas and other fuels rose at an annual 20.9 percent, the fastest pace since February 2009, as energy companies had now passed through all the planned price rises, the ONS said.

The retail price inflation gauge, which includes more housing costs and is the benchmark for many wage deals, fell to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent, above forecasts for a dip to 5.1 percent.


Photo credit: Reuters

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