Fri, 27 Nov 2020

LONDON, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Britain's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate rose to 0.5 percent in September 2020, up from a four-year low of 0.2 percent in August, the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Wednesday.

Despite a rise to the reading of 0.5 percent in September, it remained far below than the Bank of England's 2 percent target for inflations.

Meanwhile, the CPI including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate climbed to 0.7 percent in September, up from 0.5 percent in August, said the ONS.

"Transport costs and restaurant prices lead the increase to the CPIH and CPI 12-month inflation rates," said the ONS.

The statistical body said the change was partly driven by "a larger upward contribution from the purchase of second-hand cars", as people reduced their reliance on public transport amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"UK inflation rebounded in September, continuing what has been a fairly volatile few months in the wake of the pandemic," said James Smith, a developed markets economist at financial services firm ING.

Noting the continued low inflation and new restrictions imposed across the country, analysts believe that the Bank of England would be likely to take further stimulus in the next policy meeting.

Under the current situation, "it's hard to think of reasons why the Bank of England won't launch another 100 billion pounds (about 129.5 billion U.S. dollars) or so of quantitative easing at the policy meeting on Nov. 5," said Paul Dales, an economist at the London-based economic analysis firm Capital Economics.

Smith said multiple factors would be likely to "push the Bank of England towards further stimulus in November", including pandemic impacts, the forthcoming end to the post-Brexit transition period and lack of inflationary pressure.

"However, it looks unlikely that this will be coupled with a shift into negative rates at this stage," Smith added.

His remarks came as Britain on Tuesday recorded highest daily coronavirus-related death toll since June, according to official figures.

Meanwhile, another 21,331 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 762,542, the data showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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