Consumer Inflation At 2.05% In January, Lowest Since June 2017

Retail inflation eases to 2.05% in January

UK inflation falls to 1.8%

The six-member panel last week voted 4-2 to lower the key interest rate.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the fall was led by a downward trend in prices of electricity, gas and other fuels.

Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS, said: 'The fall in inflation is due mainly to cheaper gas, electricity and petrol, partly offset by rising ferry ticket prices and air fares falling more slowly than this time past year.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Factory output growth in the previous month was revised downwards to 0.3 per cent, from 0.5 per cent previously.

For now, headline inflation eased further as food prices extended their fall, albeit at a slower pace. "This reflected the imposition of a new cap on Standard Variable Tariffs, which was 6% below prior average levels".

The Consumer Food Price Index declined to 2.17% in January.

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The inflation rate fell lower than analysts' forecasts of 1.9 per cent but the Bank of England's prediction was on the money.

Inflation was dragged down by lower energy and fuel prices. "As a result, we continue to think the Bank of England would press ahead with interest rate hikes if a Brexit deal is reached despite today's slip in inflation below target", says Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics.

Brexit pandemonium in parliament and uncertainty over the shape of the UK's future relationship with the European Union is the only thing keeping the Bank of England from raising rates again, most economists say, given the United Kingdom is due to depart the EU on March 29.

"Our suspicion is that inflation will spike significantly higher if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a deal".

"Waning UK business investment, and potential short-term financing difficulties for many SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the event of a no-deal Brexit, will require the Bank of England to keep rates low this year, and the latest inflation figures provide the MPC ( the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee) with a mandate to do that". A double-digit devaluation of Pound Sterling that increased the cost of imported goods for consumers, and a strong labour market were seen behind the pick up.

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