United Kingdom inflation steady at 2.4% in June | 18 July 2018

BRITAIN-ECONOMY-INFLATION

"This week's data is the last to be published on wages and prices before the next interest rate decision, and with inflation remaining within reach of the 2% target, the Bank of England may well put off the rate rise for another few months".

The data from the Office for National Statistics showed that clothing and footwear prices fell by 2.1 percent between May and June, the biggest decline for the month since 2012.

"The pound dropped sharply on the (inflation) news, losing around three-quarters of a cent against the dollar as traders revised their bets on an August rate rise", noted Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown.

ONS tweeted: "Clothing and computer games prices fell while rising prices for petrol and gas and electricity provided the largest upward contributions to change in #inflation".

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the outlook for the USA economy on Tuesday and downplayed the impact of uncertainty over US trade policy on the outlook for additional rate hikes.

Economists polled by Reuters had on average expected to see the first increase this year, to 2.6 per cent. Britain's economy appears to be picking up after a slow first three months of the year, when unusually heavy snow hurt demand.

The figures represent the last take on inflation before BOE policy makers decide whether to raise interest rates on August 2. The Bank said previously that if the economy continued to improve, it would raise rates.

She added: "Lower inflation might make it easier for the MPC to raise rates as it will relieve the pressure on consumers' incomes".

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The clashes killed 20 regime forces and 17 rebels and allied jihadists, the monitor said. At the same time the representatives of the rebels argue that the fighting continued.

But some relief emerged for consumers on the high street, where clothing discounts, most strongly felt in men's apparel, left more cash in shoppers' wallets. The expected increase was 0.4 percent.

United Kingdom retail sales could increase by at least 0.4 per cent.

"The Bank of England will be mindful of the deepening economic and political uncertainty as well as the potential for inflation to soften again as petrol price hikes drop out of the comparisons", he said.

The cost of fuel rose to its highest level in nearly four years last month and held up the rate of inflation in the United Kingdom, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Retail Prices Index, a separate measure of inflation, was 3.4 per cent last month, up from 3.3 per cent in May.

House prices also increased the slowest in five years according to the ONS, with flat prices staying the same for a year.

Vegetables - including potatoes - also fell 0.9% month on month.

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