Inflation edges out of negative territory in November

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Inflation edged out of negative territory last month, but official figures showed that mild weather drove a record fall in clothing and footwear prices amid widespread discounting on the high street.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 0.1% in November, ending two months in a row of mild deflation.

This came as falls in the prices of transport, alcoholic drinks and tobacco were smaller than a year earlier.

The rise in inflation took CPI into positive territory for the first time since July, but CPI has now remained at or close to zero for 10 months in a row in the longest run of flat or falling prices since records began.

Shoppers benefited from heavy discounting of clothes and footwear after a relatively warm autumn saw retailers slash price tags to shift stock of winter items, the data suggested.

Prices of clothing and footwear fell by 0.1% between October and November - the first time they have dropped month on month in November since ONS records started in 1996.

But the ONS said the drop also followed a hefty increase in clothing prices between September and October.

Philip Gooding, head of CPI at the ONS, said: "Although the prices of many items continue to fall, because they are falling at a slower rate than at the same time last year, the overall effect is a slight rise in headline CPI."

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