Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released Tuesday revealed U.K. inflation at 3.1 percent, the highest level since March 2012.
This puts consumer prices for November up 0.1 percent from October’s consumer price index (CPI) rate of 3 percent, which was already a five-and-a-half year high.
The new figures are in line with the Bank of England’s expectations that inflation would peak at just over 3.0 percent before the end of this year.
The ONS reported that in October, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages climbed by 4.1 percent, the highest since September 2013. This led the British Retail Consortium (BRC) to warn that consumers would face a pricey Christmas dinner this year.
Rising food prices in the U.K. over the last few years provided the greatest upward contribution to the rate growth, particularly on fish, fats and vegetables.
While the Bank of England raised interest rates in November over inflation concerns, inflation is set to stay above the target 2 percent rate throughout 2018.
Looking ahead, the MPC’s policy announcement during a meeting Thursday is expected to keep central bank interest rates unchanged, but the remaining question is whether it will suggest further hikes in the near future.
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UK inflation comes in at 3.1 percent, highest since March 2012