London, Thanasis Gavos

UK inflation rose to 4% in December, despite most economists’ forecasts for a fall from November’s 3.9%.

It is the first increase in the Consumer Price Index in months, as the index had started to decline after peaking at 11.1% in October 2022.

This development is attributed to the increased prices of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, as noted by the Office for National Statistics, following the increase in related fees by the government in the budget presented in the autumn.

However, so-called structural inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, remained unchanged at 5.1%.

Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt commented that inflation was “not falling in a straight line”, but insisted that the “difficult decisions” the government had taken were paying off.

At the same time, however, official figures show that the rate of wage growth in the United Kingdom has fallen to 6.6% from 7.3% a month earlier.