The UK’s inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Prices Index, has remained static at -0.1 percent in October, the Office for National Statistics has said. The figures will lessen expectations of a rise in interest rates in the near future.
The ONS added that the Retail Prices Index fell to 0.7 percent in October from 0.8 percent in September. This is the lowest RPI rate since November 2009. October also marked the first time the Consumer Prices Index has fallen on an annual basis for two months in a row since the index was created in 1997. Fuel prices fell by 14 percent on an annual basis and energy costs were 4.1 percent lower.
In response to the figures the TUC issued a statement to highlight the unremarkable nature of the figures.
“Zero inflation is not the mark of a healthy economy,” commented General Secretary Frances O’Grady. “In order to have a lasting recovery that benefits everybody, we need urgent investment in skills, innovation and construction projects.”
Next week see Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and businesses are pleading to be left unscathed. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said businesses were still wading through a series of reforms announced in his post-election Budget in July.
A survey of 500 members by the ICAEW found that 20 percent believe this summer’s Budget was having a negative impact on their businesses, while 32 percent expected the policies to be positive overall and 44 percent forecast no change.
“With interest rates at historic lows, there has never been a better time for the government to modernise the UK’s creaking infrastructure and focus on a secure and stable economy for the future,” O’ Grady concluded.