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Inflation Rates hit Decade High

People wearing masks walk in London, Britain, Nov. 25, 2021. More than 10 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Britain since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to official figures released Thursday. (Xinhua/Li Ying/IANS)

The UK’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate soared to 5.1 percent in November, hitting the highest level since September 2011, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The reading in November was up from 4.2 percent in October, far above the 2 percent target for inflations set by the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, the CPI including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate rose by 4.6 percent in November, up from 3.8 percent in the 12 months to October, said the ONS.

The largest upward contributions to the inflation rate came from transport, principally from motor fuels and second-hand cars, and housing and household services added the ONS.

Amid surging inflation and rising Omicron cases, market analysts have kept their eyes on if the Bank of England will raise interest rates soon.

The Bank of England has made two emergency cuts of the base rate from 0.75 percent to 0.1 percent to support businesses and households since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met his cabinet virtually on Tuesday morning and told his top team that “a huge spike of Omicron” is coming.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty updated the cabinet on the latest evidence on the Omicron variant, confirming that the doubling time still appeared to be around two to three days.

Whitty also said that a “significant increase in hospitalizations” from Omicron is expected, according to Sky News.

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