Inflation GettyImages-1011310720

UK inflation slowed for the second consecutive month after hitting a 41-year peak in October, although economists do not expect the change to ease pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates (The Financial Times £).

The consumer prices index, the headline measure of inflation, fell to 10.5% in December, down from 10.7% in November, figures from the Office for National Statistics show (The Times £).

The fall in inflation largely came from a drop in fuel prices, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. It said fuel prices rose by 11.5% in the year to December, down from 17.2% in November (The Telegraph).

However, the pace at which food prices and non-alcoholic drinks increased was well above the overall rate, rising by 16.8% in the year to December – the biggest annual jump since 1977 (The Guardian).

The pound surged close to a seven-month high against the dollar after a fall in UK inflation and weak economic data for America prompted speculation that central banks are near the end of their spate of interest rate rises (The Times £).

WH Smith’s shops in airports and railway stations have benefitted from a rebound in global travellers but demand for its UK high street stores has dampened (The Times £).

WH Smith hailed an impressive start to the financial year as the bounceback in travel over the festive period provided a windfall for the group’s outlets (The Mail).

Shares in Just Eat Takeaway jumped on Wednesday after the online food delivery business swung to a small profit in 2022 and said it expected further growth this year (The Financial Times £).

Takeaway orders may have fallen sharply amid the cost of living crisis, but investors took a shine to Just Eat Takeaway yesterday after the food delivery group comfortably beat earnings forecasts (The Times £).

Aldi is increasing pay for UK warehouse workers for the third time in a year – with its hourly minimum rate now 20% above last January (The Guardian).

The Times (£) writes that going vegan could cost consumers £115.44 more over a year. “Going vegan may be good for your waistline, but it won’t help those looking to tighten their belts.”

An opinion column in The Financial Times (£) takes a closure look at Veganuary, now in its tenth year, and Dry January and asks how investors can align their money with new consumption habits. 

A South Korean activist fund is pressing KT&G, the country’s largest tobacco and ginseng producer, to return about won 2.3tn ($1.86bn) to shareholders this year, piling pressure on the company ahead of its annual meeting in March (The Financial Times £).