United Kingdom: Inflation ticks up marginally in February
March 20, 2019
Consumer prices rose 0.5% in February over the previous month, contrasting January’s 0.8% decline. February’s reading was underpinned by higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages; clothing and footwear; and furniture, household equipment and maintenance.
Inflation inched up from 1.8% in January to 1.9% in February but remained marginally below the Bank of England’s (BoE) 2.0% target. Core inflation—which excludes food and energy costs—was also slightly below 2.0%.
Looking ahead, inflation is likely to stay close to the BoE’s target, with the tight labor market providing upward pressure. The outcome of the Brexit process is a key risk to the inflation outlook, as a no-deal Brexit could lead to a sharp currency depreciation and fan price pressures, even in the face of weaker domestic demand.
UK Inflation Forecast
According to the February Inflation Report, the Bank of England sees inflation at 2.0% in Q4 2019 and 2.1% in Q4 2020. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 2.0% in 2019 and 2.0% again in 2020.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist