November sees UK inflation rate rise

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the inflation rate for the UK increased to 0.1 per cent last month for the first time in four months.

The rate rise was fuelled by higher transport costs, tobacco and alcohol prices, but the cost of clothes also fell, which helped to reduce the overall figure.

All data that featured in the latest ONS report was compiled before it was swayed by the effect of Black Friday’s heavily discounted retail prices.

Over the course of the last 10 months, inflation each month has fluctuated between -0.1 per cent and 0.1 per cent, with supermarket price wars and low oil prices helping to keep prices at low levels.

Last week, the nine policymakers on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England (BoE) decided that the current national interest rate of 0.5 per cent should be maintained.

BoE has also issued a prediction that inflation will remain below 1 per cent until summer 2016, which is below its 2 per cent goal.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, the data firm, said: “UK inflation remained largely absent in November, and looks set to remain weaker for longer than forecasters have recently been expecting.

“Falling prices for oil and other commodities are helping drive down companies’ costs.

“Weak wage pressures and fierce competition in the retail sector are also helping keep a lid on prices. Hence clothing prices showing a record fall between October and November.”