British annual inflation edged up to a 12-month high last month, offering modest signs that price growth may be climbing at a time when worries over low inflation still dominate. David Pollard reports.
Remember this? Christmas 2015 already seems a long way in the past. But for the UK economy - it's still news - post-festive season discounts continuing to sap inflation. January saw a giddy 0.8 per cent drop in consumers prices on the month. Though for the yearly rate, there was a little more sparkle. At 0.3 per cent, it was the highest in a year. But still a long way from where the Bank of England wants it to be. ETX Capital's Head of Trading Joe Rundle. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETX CAPITAL, HEAD OF TRADING, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: "A rate rise into the UK economy would be disastrous ... I think possibly we may see a token rate rise towards the end of this year, much like the Fed did at the end of last year, just to get it over and done with, but then I expect rates and hold for some time, probably for most of 2017." Globally, inflation data is one of the week's big themes. China due to report its latest numbers - and the U.S.. Both expected to show some strengthening in price pressures. If they don't, cue more concerns over whether monetary policymakers are doing their job. And more worries for already very anxious global markets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ETX CAPITAL, HEAD OF TRADING, JOE RUNDLE, SAYING: "The traditional tools of pumping money into the economy haven't seem to work, and now we seem to be entering a cycle of slowdown within the world economy and oil, the oil price fall, is certainly going to add downward pressure on prices, which is probably not what central bankers want." That's where consumer prices are concerned. A look at producer prices even more worrying. With China's showing nearly four years of drops and commodities squeezing them elsewhere, they're no laughing matter either, for central bankers.