UK inflation eases, but stays above 10 per cent

UK’s annual inflation rate dropped further last month, official data showed on Wednesday (February 15). However, it still remained above 10 per cent. This has potential to prolong cost-of-living crisis that has sparked huge strikes.

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 10.1 percent in January compared with a rate of 10.5 percent in December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. 

Inflation around the world is easing after striking the highest levels in decades last year as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia fuelled energy and food prices. 

The news sent the pound diving 1.5 percent to $1.1990 in afternoon trade as dealers bet on less aggressive monetary policy from the Bank of England (BoE). 

In turn, that helped push London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies to a record peak above 8,000 points. 

The struggling pound boosts London-listed multinationals whose earnings are in dollars. 

In October, the inflation in UK was above 11 per cent. The high inflation over months has eroded the value of wages. Britain is currently facing its biggest strikes by public and private sector workers in more than a decade. 

“These latest figures show the cost-of-living crisis is still pummelling workers’ pay packets,” said Sharon Graham, general secretary at major British union Unite. 

“Unite will continue to fight for and win better wages in the face of this crisis,” she added in a statement. 

A separate measure of UK inflation — the retail prices index — was unchanged at 13.4 percent in January. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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