British inflation falls

LONDON: Britain’s annual inflation rate fell back into negative territory in September, dampened by lower prices for food and petrol, official data showed on Tuesday. The 12-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate sank to minus 0.1 per cent last month, compared with zero in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. That matched the CPI reading from April, which was also the lowest level since March 1960. Market expectations had been for no change. The September rate was also hit by smaller-than-expected increases in the cost of clothing. Muted inflation means that the prospect of a hike in British interest rates — which have stood at 0.50 per cent for more than six years — is unlikely any time soon, economists said. In reaction, the pound fell to the lowest level against the euro since May, as investors bet the Bank of England would delay hiking interest rates.