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Eurozone and UK inflation up, US consumer prices flat

Eurozone and UK inflation up, US consumer prices flat
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Eurozone inflation picked up in November because of a rise in the cost of electricity and accommodation.

Consumer prices in the 17 countries sharing the euro were up by 0.9 percent from the same month a year ago. In October the increase had been 0.7 percent.

Low inflation shows that people are not spending and companies are not investing, slowing the pace of the recovery.

At the same time, growth in wages continued to decelerate. In the third quarter of the year salaries in the region increased at their slowest pace in three years.

Nominal hourly labour costs in the bloc grew 1.0 percent in the third quarter, following a 1.1 percent increase in the second quarter.

British inflation edges up

British inflation edged down in November to its lowest level in four years, giving the Bank of England plenty of breathing space to keep interest rates at a record low even as the economy picks up speed.

Consumer prices rose 2.1 percent on the year in November, the slowest increase since November 2009, as the impact of higher gas and electricity prices had yet to be felt, the Office for national Statistics said.

Compared with the previous month, the consumer price index in November was up 0.1 percent, the ONS said.

Annual inflation has exceeded the Bank of England’s 2 percent target every month since December 2009, steadily eating into the pay of British workers and making living standards a big political issue ahead of the 2015 elections.

Despite above-target inflation, the BoE’s focus remains on nurturing an economy which is growing more quickly than most other industrialized countries but remains smaller than before the financial crisis.

US inflation flat

US consumer prices were flat in November. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index was restrained last month by declines in gasoline and natural gas prices, after slipping 0.1 percent in October.

A 1.6 percent drop in gasoline prices and 1.8 percent fall in the cost of natural gas offset increases in electricity.

In the 12 months through November, the CPI rose 1.2 percent. It had increased 1.0 percent in October, the smallest advance since October 2009.

Stripping out the volatile energy and food components, the so-called core CPI rose 0.2 percent after rising by 0.1 percent for three consecutive months.

That took the increase over the past 12 months to 1.7 percent, rising by the same margin for a third straight month.

with Reuters