UK Inflation Rate Rises 4.4% in February


The UK annual rate of inflation has risen to 4.4%, up from 4% in January as higher food, fuel and clothing costs drove the prices to the highest level for more than two years.

The CPI rose by 0.7 per cent between January and February this year compared with a rise of 0.4 per cent a year ago. The 0.7 per cent increase this year is towards the top end of the range for a January to February movement.

The main downward pressure to inflation between January and February came from alcohol and tobacco.

The most significant upward contributions to the 1-month change in the CPI between January and February 2011 came from: clothing and footwear: prices, overall, rose by 3.6 per cent; food and non-alcoholic beverages: the largest upward effect came from bread and cereals where prices rose by 2.9 per cent; transport: prices, overall, rose by 0.8 per cent between January and February 2011.

The most significant upward contributions to the change in the CPI 12-month rate between January and February 2011 came from: housing and household services: prices, overall, rose by 0.3 per cent between January and February this year compared with a fall of 0.7 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The largest upward effect came from gas as average bills rose by 0.4 per cent this year but fell by 2.8 per cent a year ago, a record fall for a January to February period; clothing and footwear: where prices, overall, rose by 3.6 per cent, a record January to February movement, compared with a 2.0 per cent increase a year ago. Transport prices, overall, rose by 0.8 per cent between January and February this year compared with 0.6 per cent between the same two months a year ago. Communication prices, overall, rose by 1.3 per cent this year, a record for a January to February period, compared with 0.3 per cent a year ago, with the main upward contribution coming from mobile phone charges.

Annual inflation as recorded by the retail prices index (RPI) stands at 5.5 per cent in February, up from 5.1 per cent in January.


TradingEconomics.com, UK Office for National Statistics
3/22/2011 10:25:49 AM