UK inflation rate fell to 0.9% in October

It was below the 1.1 per cent predicted by economists, who said sterling’s fall would push the number higher, reports The BBC.

But prices for goods leaving factories rose by 2.1 per cent, faster than expected and the biggest increase since April 2012.

Costs faced by producers for raw material and oil showed a record monthly jump in October, up by 4.6 per cent.

“After initially pushing up the prices of raw materials, the recent fall in the value of the pound is now starting to boost the price of goods leaving factories as well,” ONS statistician Mike Prestwood said.

“However, aside from fuel, there is no clear evidence that these pressures have so far fed through to the prices in shops,” he said.

There is an expectation among economists that inflation is set to rise, fuelled by the fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit referendum in June, which pushed up the cost of imports.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England forecast that inflation would rise to about 2.7 per cent by this time next year.

The pound has fallen about 16 per cent against the dollar and about 11 per cent against the euro since June.

UK inflation has been below the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target for nearly three years. Last year it was zero, the lowest since comparable records began in 1950.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) – a separate measure of inflation, which includes housing costs – was 2 per cent in October, unchanged from September, the ONS said.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at IHS Markit said that despite October’s CPI fall, the trend over the coming months would be upwards as rising factory costs feed through to consumers.

“It’s therefore likely to be only a matter of time before price hikes in retailers’ supply chains start feeding through to the customer, as retailers seek to protect margins,” he said.

“The concern is that consumers are driving the economy at the moment, and higher inflation is starting to eat into people’s spending power, subduing consumer spending.”

Earlier this month, the ONS announced that from March 2017, there would be a new measure of inflation that would include the cost of owning a home.