Sterling edges up ahead of inflation data

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Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was driven up by expensive tickets to family attractions though this was offset by weaker fuel price rises.

Over the same period, inflation, as measured by CPI was 2.7 per cent and was four per cent as measured by RPI.

The trio at Edelweiss further said that November 2017 IIP stood at near 5-year high.

Food prices rose by 4pc, the slowest pace in four months, as inflation dipped sharply across staples including rice, pasta, meat and dairy produce.

Wall Street is anxious higher inflation will force the Federal Reserve to raise USA interest rates more aggressively, shifting money into bonds and potentially choking off an economic expansion that's nearly nine years old. The BoE has said it expects pay growth to accelerate in 2018, and this is yet another reason higher interest rates are on the table. Women's apparel costs jumped a record 3.4 percent, the report showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI increasing 0.3 per cent in January and the core CPI rising 0.2 per cent. The increase in the CPI over the past 12 months remained unchanged at 2.1%. That could be balanced out, Wells Fargo Securities says, by another phenomenon: companies testing consumers' ability to afford higher price tags at the start of the year, something not always weeded out with seasonal adjustments. On February 2, the January jobs report showed the fastest year-over-year growth in average hourly earnings since 2008.

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The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 percent last month as households paid more for gasoline, rental accommodation and healthcare. For the nine-month period between April and December 2017, the cumulative IIP growth was 3.7 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Inflation pressures are rising, to be sure, but not as much as the headline (inflated by energy) or even the core (showing residual impact of prior dollar weakening) would suggest.

Certain sectors that saw a robust pickup in December may settle back in January, including medical goods and cars, according to Bloomberg Economics.

Concurring with the Reserve Bank of India view that inflation outlook was clouded by several uncertainties on the upside which include fixing of minimum support prices (MSPs) for agricultural crop, increase in customs duty on a number of items and fiscal slippage.

It was around a cent above Friday's low by 0850 GMT at $1.3868, up 0.2 percent on the day.

The two main US stock indexes endured wild swings last week on concerns that inflation would spur higher interest rates more quickly, boosting borrowing costs for companies.

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