USA inflation rises in biggest jump in nearly four years

A separate report shows US consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in almost four years, with costs gaining six-tenths of a percent in January and 2.5 percent in the past year.

Inflation pressure remains, however, as the price paid for raw materials by United Kingdom manufacturers jumped 20.5% on the year, the fastest annual pace since September 2008.

CPI softened 20 basis points to 3.2 percent in January from 3.4 percent in December, primarily because of a 70 bps drop in food inflation.

"The costs of raw materials and goods leaving factories both rose significantly, mainly thanks to higher oil prices and the weakened pound", said Prestwood.

The food index, which had been unchanged for 6 consecutive months, increased 0.1 percent.

Rising fuel prices and the supermarket "courgette crunch" caused the cost of living to rise at its fastest rate since June 2014 last month, official figures showed today.

USA wholesale inflation continued its upward trend in January, recording its largest monthly gain in more than four years, according to data released Tuesday by the Labor Department.

More news: Hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neal Gorsuch set for March 20th

While the rate of price rise in sugar was 22.83 percent, for fibres it was 15.18 percent, and 25.44 percent for minerals.

Sales patterns may have contributed to this, as the proportion of items on sale increased by more between December 2016 and January 2017 than it did a year ago, ONS said.

At the same time, deflationary pressures from food prices have slowed down, supporting near-term projections by the central bank that inflation will continue to rise over the first quarter of this year, first reaching and then likely surpassing the target of 2 percent for the period.

In separate figures also released Wednesday, the Commerce Department said a steep drop in auto sales weighed on the USA retail sector in January, putting downward pressure on overall sales for the month. It was the largest monthly increase in over a year.

"Inflation is not the main driver of monetary policy at the moment.I do think they are going to tighten more this year, but the main driver is credit risk and concerns of leverage and what's going on in the property market", said Capital Economics' Evans-Pritchard.

Despite the surge, the PPI only increased 1.6 percent in the 12 months through January. Nonetheless, the rate was weaker than the expected 1.9%. Overall, export prices rose 1.1 percent over the past year, while prices for "core" exports fell 0.1 percent.