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The UK is facing an inflation rate of 4%

The UK is facing an inflation rate of 4%

In December 2023, the inflation rate in the United Kingdom reached 4 percent on a year-on-year basis, according to the Wednesday (Janury 16, 2024) report from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS). This marked a notable acceleration in price growth, representing the first such increase in nearly a year. By way of comparison, the inflation rate stood at 3.9 percent year-on-year in the preceding month of November.

The year-on-year inflation in the UK experienced an uptick for the first time since February 2023, signifying a shift in the economic landscape.

The ONS highlighted that the primary drivers behind the inflationary surge were the heightened prices of alcohol and tobacco. This surge came on the heels of earlier tax increases on these products. Specifically, the prices of tobacco products witnessed a substantial 16 percent year-on-year increase.

Grant Fitzner, the Chief Economist at ONS, pointed out that the ascent in tobacco prices "was partially counterbalanced by a decrease in food inflation, where prices continued to rise but at a significantly slower pace compared to the previous year."

In comparison with the previous month of November, the overall increase in the prices of goods and services amounted to 0.4 percent, reflecting a month-on-month change.

Core inflation, a measure that excludes the volatile components of energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco prices, remained steadfast at 5.1 percent.

According to the online portal of The Guardian newspaper, this unexpected upswing in inflation complicates the envisioned scenario that the Bank of England would initiate a reduction in interest rates. The next crucial decision regarding interest rates in the country is scheduled to be made on February 1. This development adds an element of uncertainty to the economic outlook, prompting increased attention and scrutiny from financial analysts and policymakers alike.


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