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BREAKING – Inflation rises to 10.4% defying expert predictions, ONS figures show

The inflation rate in Britain has risen for the first time in four months – an increase that piles pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates tomorrow.

Analysts were left surprised this morning after the rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 10.4 per cent in February from 10.1 per cent in January. 

Most economists were expecting CPI to fall to 9.9 per cent in February, but the rise highlights the continued squeeze on household budgets across the country.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks prices rose by 18.2 per cent in the year to February , up from 16.8 per cent in January – with the annual rate now at is highest since 1977.

Shortages of vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers in recent weeks – which saw rationing in some supermarkets – were largely behind the rocketing food inflation.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: ‘Falling inflation isn’t inevitable, so we need to stick to our plan to halve it this year.

‘We recognise just how tough things are for families across the country, so as we work towards getting inflation under control we will help families with cost-of-living support worth £3,300 on average per household this year.’

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: ‘Inflation ticked up in February, mainly driven by rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants following discounting in January.

Source of data and images: dailymail

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