Inflation above target for 39th straight month

 
Ben Southwood
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CONSUMER price inflation accelerated in February, figures showed yesterday, as prices grew faster than the Bank of England’s two per cent target for the 39th month in a row.

The consumer prices index (CPI) grew 2.8 per cent over the year to last month, the Office for National Statistics revealed, up from 2.7 per cent annual CPI growth over the previous four months. According to the CPI the pound has only just above 70 per cent of its 1997 buying power.

The biggest upward pushes on the rate came from housing and household services – which rose 0.5 per cent in price between January and February, as against a 0.3 per cent drop last year – as well as transport and recreation and culture.

Downward pressure on the rate came from food, both alcoholic and soft drinks, and tobacco.

The retail prices index (RPI), which is linked to student loans, rail fares and index-linked gilts, edged down from 3.3 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

The tax and prices index (TPI), which includes direct taxes, was down from 2.8 per cent in January to 2.7 per cent in February.