British inflation returned to positive territory for the first time in four months in November, but remained close to zero as it has for most of this year, official figures showed on Tuesday.
The Office for National Statistics said annual consumer price inflation rose 0.1 percent last month from October's reading of -0.1 percent, in line with economists' expectations in a Reuters poll, despite an unexpected fall in clothes prices.
Britain's inflation has stuck in a narrow range between plus and minus 0.1 percent since February, largely due to a slump in oil prices late last year, and is far below the Bank of England's 2 percent target.
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But strong growth in Britain's economy means the BoE's policymakers have been less worried about persistent deflation than some of their euro-zone colleagues were earlier this year, though they are still some way from raising interest rates.
Last month the BoE forecast inflation would stay below 1 percent for the first half of next year, and since then oil prices have fallen further to near their lowest since 2008.
Not all the shortfall in inflation is due to low oil prices, however, and on Monday BoE Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik said wages would need to rise further before she felt ready to lift interest rates from their record low.
The ONS said lower energy prices were less of a drag on inflation in November than in previous months.