Beating all expectations, UK inflation remained stuck at 2.4 per cent in October, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.
Meanwhile, core inflation — a gauge of underlying price growth that strips out energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices — also held steady at 1.9 per cent in October.
“Prices paid by consumers continued to rise at a steady rate with falls in food and clothing offset by rising utility bills and petrol, as crude (oil) prices continued to rise,” ONS statistician Michael Hardie added.
Yael Selfin, Chief Economist at KPMG UK, commented: “The rate of consumer price inflation was unchanged in October from a month ago at 2.4%, slightly below expectations. Strong increases in education, communication and recreation prices were offset by falling food and beverages costs, as well as lower clothing and footwear prices.
“Spirits and beer saw their price fall by 1.4% and 3.1% respectively, which together with the freeze on their duties announced in the budget last month, will no doubt help fuel Christmas celebrations.
“Today’s data will provide some comfort for the MPC in regards to domestic inflationary pressures. Increases in household energy bills, which rose by 2.2% from September, have not been sufficient to push the headline rate of inflation further away from the Bank’s target, and it does not appear that inflationary pressures are sufficiently strong to require a more hawkish course of action.”