British inflation unexpectedly jumped to its highest level in nearly four years in May, tightening the squeeze on consumers who now face the added worry of political uncertainty after last week's inconclusive election. Laura Frykberg reports.
Her allegiances appear clear.. But Arlene Foster of Northern Ireland's DUP is yet to agree to govern with the UK Conservatives. If that was already causing Prime Minister Theresa May a headache. The latest inflation data could turn it into a migraine. It jumped to its highest level in nearly four years last month.. Rising 2.9 percent compared with a year earlier. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "What market watchers are equally keeping an eye on is whether wage inflation shows any signs of picking up given that the unemployment situation at the moment is reasonably under control." That's predicted to fall short of the inflation rise. Increasing by an annual 2 percent in the three months to April. Bad news for consumers, who've been struggling with a weak pound since the Brexit vote last year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NICK PARSONS, GLOBAL HEAD FX STRATEGY, NAB, SAYING: "I am afraid that there are still lots of uncertainties around the near term and medium term outlook for sterling." The inflation data will be keenly watched by the Bank of England - which meets on Thursday. But despite record low rates, a change in policy is still unlikely, say some. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "It's not yet up to the point where the Bank of England needs to write to the Treasury to explain that they're up a percent" The drivers of the UK economy - consumers, showed more signs of stalling on Monday. If that continues - the future potential government may have a lot less to be cheerful about.