While the data on UK industrial and manufacturing production was unexpectedly weak, rising only 0.1 percent and falling 0.2 percent respectively in January, recent price data pointed to enduring inflationary pressures in the economy.
Reuters reports that UK house prices rose at the fastest pace in nearly 2 years in January based on Department for Communities and Local Government data.
February data have been ambiguous, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting that its house price balance fell to 24.0 in the three months to February, the slowest rate of house price inflation since May 2006, from 28.0 in the three months to January. This contradicts surveys from the Halifax and Nationwide building societies which showed strong price growth last month.
At least commercial property development was strong in February, property agency Savills reporting that its Total Commercial Activity index rose to a three-month high of 61.2 after falling to 51.4 in January.
Finally, producer prices rose sharply in February. From Reuters:
Core factory gate inflation picked up last month on higher scrap metal prices and raw material costs also rose more than expected, boosting forecasts that borrowing costs will rise further this year.
The Office for National Statistics said on Monday output prices excluding food, drink, tobacco and petroleum rose 0.5 percent on the month, the biggest gain since April last year and more than double the consensus forecast.
That took the annual rate up to 2.7 percent, the strongest since June...
Overall factory gate inflation also came in above expectations, remaining steady at an annual 2.2 percent. Analysts had predicted a 2.1 percent rate.
Input prices rose more than expected by 1.3 percent on the month, compared with forecasts for a 0.6 percent gain. That still left them 1.0 percent lower on a year ago.