Financial News

  • 16 July 2014, 10:37

Inflation Jump 'May Be Down To Good Weather'

Inflation rose by more than forecast last month - possibly driven by retailers delaying summer sales because of good weather.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed the annual pace of inflation rose in June to 1.9% from 1.5% in May.

It also measured - in a separate release - a sharp rise in house price inflation in London with annual growth calculated in May at a record 20.1%.

The average house price was 10.5% higher on a national, year-on-year basis the ONS said.

The official house price statistics were the first to cover the first month of tighter mortgage lending rules - aimed at ensuring greater affordability for both borrowers and lenders alike.

In its wider inflation statistics, the ONSsaid clothing and footwear prices rose month on month at a time when they are usually falling - as stores held off on summer discounts due to warmer weather bringing shoppers out.

Furniture, air fares and sea transport also had an upward effect but petrol prices went up by less than the same month a year before.

It meant inflation remained well above the rate of wage increases, which were last recorded at 0.7%, meaning real-terms pay is still stalling.

Inflation had been dragged down in May by the supermarket price war which saw food andnon-alcoholic drinks costs fall but these were flat in June.

The headline measure still remains below the Bank of England's 2% target, with CPI having now beenat or below target for seven months in a row - the first time this has happened since 2005.

Sterling jumped back above the $1.71 mark on expectations thelatest figure raises the chances of an interest rate hike later this year.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "With inflation almosthitting the Bank of England's 2% target, the housing market booming, the economygrowing strongly with no signs of momentum being lost and unemploymentplummeting, the case for higher interest rates is building."

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