• Producer’s annual inflation in December 2011: output price inflation down to 4.8%, input price inflation down to 8.7%

Commenting on the producer price figures for December 2011, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The December figures show a further welcome slowdown in the pace of inflation. Though price inflation for both inputs and outputs is still relatively high in absolute terms, the trend is moving in the right direction, and this will contribute to lower consumer price inflation in 2012. As the squeeze on businesses and consumers eases, there will be scope for demand in the economy to improve gradually later this year.

“These figures should encourage the MPC to persevere with an expansionary monetary policy, and we hope to see an increase in the QE programme in February. This should be supplemented by the earliest possible introduction of credit easing. Policies to support growth, such as scrapping the planned increases in business rates and aggressive measures to cut red tape, should be implemented without delay.”