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The UK’s annual inflation rate was 1.6% in December, up from 1.2% in November and the highest rate since July 2014.
The Office for National Statistics said higher food and air fares were mainly to blame and both had been affected by the recent fall in the value of the pound.
“This is the highest CPI has been for over two years, though the annual rate remains below the Bank of England’s target and low by historical standards,” said ONS head of inflation Mike Prestwood.
“Rising air fares and food prices, along with petrol prices falling less than last December, all helped to push up the rate of inflation.
“Rising raw material costs also continued to push up the prices of goods leaving factories.”
Separate figures for the Producer Price Index (PPI) showed that the price of goods bought from factories rose 2.7% in December compared with a year ago, as manufacturers started to pass through higher input costs.
The rise suggests that the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates in the aftermath of the Brexit vote was a little premature.