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United Kingdom inflation rate falls to 2.7%

20 March 2018

The latest fall is partly attributed to a fall in petrol prices.

The figures come two days before the Bank of England's next interest rate decision but are unlikely to change expectations about the timing of the next hike - with many experts pencilling in May for a rate rise but others urging the Bank to stay its hand until later.

The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday that the UK's Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate - the key measure of inflation - was 2.7% in February, down from January's 3% level, and lower than economists' forecasts of 2.8%.

Falling petrol prices and a slower rise in the cost of food contributed to a drop in United Kingdom consumer price inflation during February.

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Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the fall in inflation was unlikely to be a "one-off downside surprise".

Transport prices dragged on the cost of living in February, securing a smaller month-on-month rise of 0.5% in contrast to a 1.2% jump past year.

John Goodall, CEO of Landbay, said: "House prices got off to a rocky start in 2018".

"Hotel prices also fell and the cost of ferry tickets rose more slowly than previous year, when prices were collected on Valentine's Day, when many people could have been taking mini-breaks". It is widely expected to say on Thursday that it will keep rates on hold for now, and stick with a plan to raise borrowing costs only gradually.

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He said: "From next month a typical taxpayer will pay £1,000 less income tax than in 2010".

"The UK recovery is now almost nine years old, and yet our official interest rate is exactly where it was nine years ago".

The BoE expects wages to grow more quickly than inflation later this year.

"A further interest rate rise would be justified this spring - which would show that the United Kingdom is following the lead of the US Federal Reserve in embarking on a policy of gradual and careful interest rate rises".

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United Kingdom inflation rate falls to 2.7%