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UK inflation eases, remains close to 40-year high

LONDON (AP) – United Kingdom (UK) inflation eased in November as gasoline and diesel prices rose more slowly than the previous month.

The consumer price index rose 10.7 per cent in the 12 months through November, down from a 41-year high of 11.1 per cent in October, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday.

November’s inflation rate was less than the 10.9 per cent expected by economists.

The news comes after the United States (US) on Tuesday reported a second consecutive drop in its inflation rate. US consumer prices rose 7.1 per cent in November, down from 7.7 per cent in October.

But British officials said it was too soon to say whether inflation had peaked in the UK, which is being slammed by high electricity and natural gas prices as winter begins to take hold.

“Some may be calling this a peak; it is, I think, too early,” ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitnzer told the BBC. “We’ve only seen one fall from a 40-year high, so let’s wait a few months.”

The figures will be watched closely by the Bank of England, which is meeting ahead of an interest rate decision today. The bank raised its key rate to three per cent last month, the eighth consecutive rate increase in the past year.

People walk along Regent Street in London. PHOTO: AP

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