UK inflation nudging decade high, interest rate hikes expected
Juliet Mann in London
Hugely increased shipping costs are one of the drivers of inflation. /Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Hugely increased shipping costs are one of the drivers of inflation. /Reuters/Peter Nicholls


Inflation in the UK is at its highest rate in nearly 10 years. 

The cost of living in the UK surged by 4.2 percent in the 12 months to October, up from 3.1 percent in the three months to September – a bigger leap than analysts had expected and more than double the Bank of England's target of 2 percent.

Eurozone inflation is in the same ballpark – surging to more than twice the European Central Bank's target in October, with more than half of the jump attributed to increases in energy prices.

Fuel and household electricity bills are getting bigger as a result of increasing demand for oil and gas around the world.



Anti-Asian hate speech 'surged online'

Zero Waste Challenge: Household rubbish

China urges EU to ratify trade deal


Shortages of goods such as semiconductor chips used in manufacturing, supermarket foods and building materials, not to mention shipping costs, are causing supply problems and pushing up prices. 

Uber fares are 10 percent higher in London, plastic is up 13 percent, snacks including Pringles and Doritos are up 7.6 percent – even cat foot is pricier, up 6 percent.

Britain is also feeling the fallout from Brexit, adding to the cost of doing business with the European Union – its biggest trading partner.

Number-crunchers don't think the inflation numbers are a one-off, but spy an ongoing trend. The Bank of England and other forecasters expect price rises to continue through to April and stay well above target (that ever more elusive 2 percent) for the rest of the year.

All this piles pressure on policymakers to act on interest rates from as early as next month.

Many analysts now expect the Bank of England to increase the cost of borrowing incrementally from 0.1 percent to 0.25 percent at its next meeting in December, then to 0.5 percent in February, reaching 1 to 1.25 percent by the end of 2022.

Search Trends