UK inflation falls to 3.4% – lowest level for almost two and a half years

The slower pace of food price rises helped push down inflation, along with soft drinks, restaurants and hotels, the Office for National Statistics stated.

This effect was partially offset by petrol prices and rental costs. Overall, the cost of living is not falling but prices are rising less quickly than they were previously.

Inflation was running at 4% in the year to January, the same as December’s rate.

The drop was driven by a slowing in the growth of food prices with the report showing prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rising by 5.0% in the year to February 2024, down from 6.9% in January.

Inflation peaked at 11.1% in October 2022 – the government pledged to halve the rate in 2023.

The Bank of England, which has a target rate of inflation of 2%, uses the latest figure when weighing up whether to raise or lower interest rates.

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