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UK Inflation Steady At 1.7%

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UK consumer prices grew at a steady rate, which was below the Bank of England's target, in September and factory gate inflation eased to the weakest in three years, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Wednesday.

Consumer prices advanced 1.7 percent year-on-year, the same pace of growth as seen in August, and the lowest since late 2016. The rate was forecast to rise to 1.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, slightly slower than the expected 0.2 percent.

Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, accelerated to 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent.

Unchanged CPI inflation of 1.7 percent in September was softer than expected, which might delay interest rate hikes following a Brexit deal and increase the chances of rate cuts if Brexit is delayed or there is a no deal, Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Downward pressure to overall inflation came from motor fuels, second-hand cars and electricity, gas and other fuels. These downward movements were offset by upward pressure from furniture, household appliances, hotel overnight stays and recreation and culture items.

Another report from ONS showed that output price inflation eased 1.2 percent in September from 1.7 percent in August. The rate was the lowest since September 2016 and below the forecast of 1.3 percent.

On a monthly basis, output prices fell unexpectedly by 0.1 percent compared to flat growth in August. Prices were expected to gain 0.1 percent.

At the same time, input prices dropped for the second straight month to hit the lowest since May 2016.

Input prices declined 2.8 percent annually versus a 0.9 percent drop in August and expectations of 1.7 percent drop.

On the month, input prices slid 0.8 percent following a 0.3 percent decrease in the previous month.

In a separate communique, the ONS showed that average house prices in the UK increased 1.3 percent in the year to August, up from 0.8 percent in July.

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