UK inflation unexpectedly holds steady at 1.7% in September

LONDON — Official figures show that falling fuel and secondhand car prices helped keep consumer price inflation in Britain unchanged in September at 1.7%, its lowest rate since late 2016.

The flat reading from the Office for National Statistics was unexpected — most economists predicted a modest pick-up to 1.8%.

Inflation remains below the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%. With wages rising solidly, many economists expect inflation to rise back toward the target rate in the coming months.

Where interest rates will go will hinge on what happens with Brexit. Most economists think that the central bank will cut its main interest rate from 0.75% sometime in the next few months if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal or the uncertainty persists.

The Associated Press