UK inflation picks up a bit more than expected in October

Shoppers browse aisles in a supermarket in London, Britain

British inflation picked up by a little more than expected in October, pushed higher by prices for clothing and footwear and food as coronavirus restrictions tightened in much of the country, official data showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 0.7% in annual terms, after a 0.5% rise in September, the Office for National Statistics said. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 0.6%.

Unlike last year, food prices rose in October and people stocked up on potatoes and fruit.

Some surveys of consumers had pointed to renewed stockpiling as health restrictions spread through Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in October. A one-month lockdown was announced for England at the end of the month and started on Nov. 5.

“The rate of inflation increased slightly as clothing prices grew, returning to their normal seasonal pattern after the disruption this year,” said ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow.

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