UK consumer prices declined 0.5% in January

UK consumer prices declined 0.5% in January and, although the year-on-year rate increased to 1.8% from 1.6% which was the highest rate since June 2014, this was slightly lower than the consensus forecast of a sharper increase to 1.9%.

 

There was significant upward pressure on transport costs which was offset by a decline in clothing prices.

 

The data will dampen expectations that the Bank of England may need to tighten monetary policy more aggressively to curb inflation, although there was a larger than expected increase in producer prices which suggests underlying pressures may be building.

 

Sterling weakened significantly following the inflation data with the UK currency moving back below the 1.2500 level as the Euro moved to the 0.8520 area, although gilts reversed initial gains.

 

The UK currency was resilient at lower levels and regained support during the New York session as the Euro retreated back below 0.8500. The latest labour-market data will be released on Wednesday with a particular focus on the earnings data.