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For the first time since 2002 U.K.'s inflation slowed below 1 percent after an annualized reading of 1% in November. Analyst expected the HICP, the index calculation includes food and clothing prices, education expenditures, as well as prices for public health services, transportation, utility payments and leisure, to decline to +0.7% but data for December showed that inflation sank more-than-expected to 0.5%, the lowest since May 2000. Month over month inflation was flat at 0.0% after falling 0.3% in November. Retail prices rose by +1.6% in line with expectations. Low inflation is putting more pressure on the Bank of England to keep benchmark interest rates at a record low.
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