UK inflation figures suggest delay in interest rate hike

LONDON — Official figures show that inflation in Britain remained at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in May, suggesting the central bank may delay an expected rate increase.

Coming after other mixed economic figures, Wednesday's inflation data mean the Bank of England could put off increasing its key interest rate this summer, as was previously believed.

The Bank of England wants inflation near 2 percent and some thought it might soon raise its main rate by a quarter point to 0.75 percent to do so.

Samuel Tombs, economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, predicts inflation will gradually ease in coming months anyway, and that the economy "is still subdued by past standards."

Wages are rising 2.8 percent on the year, but that improvement in living standards "lacks any real momentum."

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