Inflation

US inflation

Inflation data has been released in the US.

The Consumer Prices Index rose 0.3% in April.

Year-on-year prices rose 2%.

Reuters said economists it had polled forecast the CPI increasing 0.4% in April and 2.1% year-on-year.

Jerome Powell comments on inflation

US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell
AFP

US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has just spoken at a press conference following the meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee.

Mr Powell said that he expects inflation to rise back to 2%, and that recent falling readings are likely to be transient.

However, if inflation were to persistently stay below 2%, "we would be concerned and we would take it into account" in setting policy, he added.

When pressed by reporters on whether that would mean the Fed would cut rates in response, Powell demurred.

"I can't really be any more specific than what I’ve said," he said.

Inflation unchanged

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) is also unchanged, at 1.8%, for March.

Food and leisure kept inflation muted, while transport and clothes led the rises in prices, according to ONS data.

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BreakingONS inflation stays level at 1.9%

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) stays level at 1.9%.

CPI was forecast to go back to 2%, from 1.9%.

Eurozone inflation to rise more slowly: ECB

Eurozone
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Eurozone inflation will rise more slowly in future months, according to a board member of the European Central Bank.

It will take longer to rise as political uncertainty is weighing on growth and the underestimated slack in the labour market, Sabine Lautenschlaeger told Austrian newspaper Der Standard.

“The number of people who lost their jobs in the crisis but never registered themselves as unemployed has been underestimated,” she said.

Rates on hold this year says BCC

Here's the British Chambers of Commerce on the inflation data.

“Inflation is likely to drift higher in the coming months as the expected increase in Ofgem’s energy price cap in April enters the calculation. Businesses also continue to report that the cost of imported raw materials are rising. As these high input costs filter through supply chains, they could increase the upward pressure on consumer prices in the short-term," said the BCC's head of economics Suren Thiru.

Even so, he said there was "sufficient scope" for the Bank of England to keep interest rates on hold this year, as inflation will remain close to the 2% target and because of "a backdrop of increasing anxiety over Brexit and slowing economic growth".