UK inflation slows to 2.7pc, say official data

File picture shows a woman carrying her shopping bags before boarding a train on the London Underground at Waterloo Station in London, November 25, 2017. — Reuters pic
File picture shows a woman carrying her shopping bags before boarding a train on the London Underground at Waterloo Station in London, November 25, 2017. — Reuters pic

LONDON, March 20 — Britain’s annual inflation rate slowed in February as food and transport costs rose by less than one year ago, official data showed today.

“The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.7 per cent in February 2018, down from 3.0 per cent in January 2018,” the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

Inflation jumped last year and remains at an elevated level after Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016. The Brexit referendum pushed down the pound, in turn hiking the cost of imported goods.

February’s slowdown however calls into doubt whether the Bank of England will increase its main interest rate this Thursday as expected ahead of the latest data.

“The drop in inflation ... creates some breathing space for the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee when it comes to increasing interest rates,” said Kevin Doran, chief investment officer at AJ Bell. — AFP

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