Tue Aug 16 03:30:00 CDT 2016

Consensus Actual Previous
Month over Month 0.0% -0.1% 0.2%
Year over Year 0.6% 0.6% 0.5%

Consumer prices were a touch softer than expected in July, falling 0.1 percent on the month and posting the first monthly decline since January. However, despite the monthly decline, the annual inflation rate increased by a tick to 0.6 percent, the highest mark since November 2014. This was due to a larger, 0.2 percent decrease in the overall CPI from June to July in the previous year than the 0.1 percent drop this year. Annual core inflation fell to 1.3 percent, down from the 1.4 percent recorded in June.

The main positive contribution to the change in the yearly overall rate came from motor fuels, which rose 1.6 percent on the month after a 1.2 percent gain over the same period in 2015. Also boosting the annual rate were prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, for which prices rose 0.5 percent on the month compared to a 2.5 percent fall in the same period last year. In addition, prices of restaurants and hotels were up 0.4 percent on the month, whereas this segment recorded only a 0.1 percent increase over the same period in 2015.

Helping to keep inflation in check were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, with prices unchanged from June to July this year, whereas they rose by 0.3 percent in the same period last year. In addition, recreation and culture were down 0.1 percent on the month, compared to an 0.2 percent increase last year.

With the dramatic slide of the exchange rate following the Brexit vote and the inevitable upward pressure on prices this brings, the BoE had revised its inflation forecasts sharply upward in its quarterly inflation report, which projects inflation to rise above 2 percent by 2017. July's very mild outturn should give the Bank a little breathing room to implement its stimulative measures without worrying to much about runaway inflation.

The consumer price index (CPI) is an average measure of the level of the prices of goods and services bought for the purpose of consumption by the vast majority of households in the UK. It is calculated using the same methodology developed by Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, for its harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP). The CPI is the Bank of England's target inflation measure.

The consumer price index is the most widely followed indicator of inflation. An investor who understands how inflation influences the markets will benefit over those investors that do not understand the impact. In countries such as the UK, where monetary policy decisions rest on the central bank's inflation target, the rate of inflation directly affects all interest rates charged to business and the consumer.

Inflation is an increase in the overall prices of goods and services. The relationship between inflation and interest rates is the key to understanding how indicators such as the CPI influence the markets - and your investments.

Inflation (along with various risks) basically explains how interest rates are set on everything from your mortgage and auto loans to Treasury bills, notes and bonds. As the rate of inflation changes and as expectations on inflation change, the markets adjust interest rates. The effect ripples across stocks, bonds, commodities, and your portfolio, often in a dramatic fashion.

By tracking inflation, whether high or low, rising or falling, investors can anticipate how different types of investments will perform. Over the long run, the bond market will rally (fall) when increases in the CPI are small (large). The equity market rallies with the bond market because low inflation promises low interest rates and is good for profits.

For monetary policy, the Bank of England generally follows the annual change in the consumer price index which is calculated using the European Union's Eurostat methodology so that inflation can be compared across EU member states.