UK inflation 3.2%

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Looks to me like the theory that a large output gap/high unemployment will control ‘inflation’ (for anything more than the very short term) is about to fall by the wayside, just like the theory that a small output gap would cause higher inflation fell by the wayside in the late ’90s.

UK Inflation Rate Unexpectedly Rose in February

by Svenja O’Donnell

Mar 24 (Bloomberg) — The U.K. inflation rate unexpectedly rose in February after higher food costs and the weakness of the pound sustained price pressures even as Britain’s recession deepened.

Consumer prices rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median forecast of 28 economists was for 2.6 percent. Officials said that Bank of England Governor Mervyn King will explain the increase in a letter to the government today after the rate breached its 3 percent upper limit.

“We’ve got such huge spare capacity in the economy,” James Knightley, an economist at ING Financial Markets in London. “Inflation pressures are going to be very weak indeed in the months to come. The process will continue through this year and into the next.”