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UK inflation rises to 2.3% in February

Press Association logoPress Association 21/03/2017

Rising fuel and food prices pushed UK inflation to 2.3 per cent in February, up from 1.8 per cent in January, official figures show.

The move is the first above-target rise since November 2013 and will put pressure on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to hike interest rates beyond 0.25 per cent this year.

It comes as the Office for National Statistics switched to its preferred measure of inflation from CPI to the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH), which includes costs associated with living in, maintaining and owning a house.

The CPIH measure also reached 2.3 per cent, up from 1.9 per cent in January.

ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow said: "Inflation has risen to its highest rate for almost three-and-a-half years with price increases seen across a range of items but with food and fuel having the largest impact."

The price of food rose by 0.3 per cent between last month and February 2016, after falling on the year for 31 consecutive months.

The supermarket price war had kept a lid on price rises, but food is now becoming more expensive as producers begin to pass down soaring import costs triggered by the British pound's slump since the EU referendum result.

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