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Brexit Britain: bills to balloon for UK consumers?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 01:41

British inflation hit a more than two-year high last month, pushed up by more expensive clothing and the impact of June's Brexit vote on the prices paid by consumers for technology goods. David Pollard reports.

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Brexit Britain may have lost its taste for Europe but it hasn't gone off its food. Specialist delis in London stocking up for the Christmas rush. UK consumers - a new survey says - spend more than their EU neighbours. Households averaging 50,000 pounds a year - compared to 35,000 in France. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "The great British consumer has come out fighting ... That's good for the economy, it's kept the economy going post the referendum. The bad thing is that we have a very low savings ratio, much lower than in other European countries. And that makes us vulnerable to any slowdown in the economy." And vulnerable to rising prices. New data shows UK inflation at 1.2 per cent last month - a two-year high. Clothing up strongly - and tech goods - as brands like Apple seek to recoup losses from a Brexit-weakened sterling. After an OPEC production cut, fuel prices too look ready to climb. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "We are in a bit of a phoney war after the EU referendum ... Many observers expected there to be an immediate impact on economic activity in the UK, and clearly we have not seen that ... It will all seem a lot more real when we move into 2017 and maybe businesses and individuals will become a bit more nervous about spending in the way that they have in the second half of 2016." The UK government wants to trigger separation with the EU by the end of March. By then, inflation could be on its way to the 2.8 per cent the Bank of England predicts for 2018 ... UK consumers expect that rate even earlier - in November next year. Mouth-watering imports may soon have eye-watering prices to match.

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Brexit Britain: bills to balloon for UK consumers?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 01:41