SA consumer inflation eases to 4%

British Pound Today: UK Inflation Data and Bank of England in Focus for Sterling

British Pound Today: UK Inflation Data and Bank of England in Focus for Sterling

"A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than previous year helped pull down inflation", Phil Gooding, the ONS' head of consumer price inflation said.

Sterling fell below $1.20 to a 30-year low against the dollar in the months after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, contributing to a spike in inflation.

Phil Gooding, ONS statistician, said: "A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than past year helped pull down inflation, as numerous early 2017 price increases due to the previous depreciation of the pound have started to work through the system".

The lower inflation figures in February beat economists' consensus of 4.2 percent.

The stubborn inflation is still within the Reserve Bank's target range of 3 percent to 6 percent.

Slower growth from CPI eases the pressure on the Bank of England, which is widely expected to hike interest rates beyond 0.5% in May.

Transport prices dragged on the cost of living in February, securing a smaller month-on-month rise of 0.5% in contrast to 1.2% past year.

Tuesday's data, due out at 09:30 London time, are crucial to the market's perception of United Kingdom inflation pressures.

Despite the fall in inflation, many households are still feeling pressure in their budgets.

Diplomat doorbell pranks reflect rise in Indian-Pakistan tensions
The officials rejected the allegations that Indian diplomatic staff was also facing obstacles and harassment in Pakistan. However, New Delhi stressed that Pakistani official are not the only ones complaining.

Most major forecasters believed that inflation would peak in late 2017, and start to fall as 2018 progresses, thanks in part to sterling's recent recovery to more than $US1.40.

ONS figures due to be published on Wednesday are expected to show that pay growth edged up to an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the three months to January.

Prices grew by 2.7 per cent in February - that's down from 3 per cent in January and 3.1 per cent in November when inflation reached its highest level since March 2012.

Food prices were also applying downward pressure, lifting 0.1 per cent between January and February in contrast to a 0.8 per cent rise the year before.

"This does make any increase in interest rates during the next few months less likely", he said.

The BoE warned in February that it will raise interest rates faster than markets had been expecting if the inflation outlook evolves in line with its latest set of forecasts.

Prices in London alone were 2.1 percent higher than a year earlier compared with a 1.8 percent rise in December.

"This fallback in inflation therefore provides little reason for the Bank of England to hold back from gradually raising interest rates".

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