UK annualized CPI meets estimates with +1.5% in March, GBP/USD stays below 1.23

  • UK CPI rises by 1.5% YoY in March vs. +1.5% expected.
  • Monthly UK CPI arrives at 0.0% in March vs. 0.0% expected.
  • GBP/USD keeps losses below 1.2300 amid broad dollar strength.

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate came in at +1.5% in March when compared to +1.7% booked in February while matching expectations of a +1.5% print, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, the core inflation gauge (excluding volatile food and energy items) arrived at +1.6% YoY last month versus +1.7% booked in Feb while meeting the consensus forecast of +1.6%.

The monthly figures showed that the UK consumer prices arrived at 0.0% in March, in line with the expectations and +0.4% last.

Main points (via ONS):

“The largest contribution to the CPIH 12-month inflation rate in March 2020 came from housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.51 percentage points).

Falls in the price of motor fuels and clothing resulted in the largest downward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between February and March 2020.

Rises in airfares produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution to change.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a public statement on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the production of statistics – Measuring the data describes the situation in relation to consumer price inflation statistics.”

FX implications:

Following the in-line with estimates but soft UK CPI numbers, the bounce in the GBP/USD pair remains capped below 1.2300. The spot hit a daily low of 1.2274 in late Asia.

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