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UK annual inflation slows in November amid falling fuel prices

The annual rate of inflation in the U.K. slowed to 2.3% in November from 2.4% in the prior month, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Econoday consensus predicted that consumer prices would rise by 2.3% on a year-over-year basis in November.

"Inflation was little changed as falling petrol prices, thanks to a substantial drop in the cost of crude oil, were offset by rises in tobacco prices following the duty changes announced in the budget," said Mike Hardie, head of inflation at the ONS. Inflation in alcoholic beverages and tobacco edged up to 5.8% from 4.0% in October, while that in housing, water and energy slowed to 2.8% from 2.9%.

Transport prices, which include fuels and lubricants, rose 4.9% on an annual basis, following a 5.4% increase in October.

Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, declined to 1.8% from 1.9%.

The data sets up "what looks set to be [a] fairly benign 2019 for inflation," James Smith, developed markets economist at ING, wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, the annual rate of inflation for materials and fuels used by manufacturers declined to 5.6% in November from a revised 10.3% in October. The rate of inflation for goods leaving the factory gate slowed to 3.1% from 3.3% in October.

According to a separate release, average house prices in the U.K. rose by 2.7% in the year to October, following a revised increase of 3.0% in September.