Inflation rises to 10.4% in February

Mar 22, 2023

Inflation rose to 10.4% in the year to February 2023 after falling for three consecutive months - up from 10.1% in the year to January.

This increase largely came from salad and vegetable shortages, as poor weather conditions in southern Europe and Africa affected harvests. These supply issues helped push the annual inflation rate for food to 18.2% - the highest rate seen in over 45 years.

According to Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants following discounting in January also contributed to the high inflation rate.

Clothing and footwear costs increased by 8% between February 2021 and February 2022, compared to only 6.2% the month before. However, this is still lower than the 8.5% rate seen in October 2022.

Meanwhile, the annual rate for motor fuel shrank from 7.7% to 4.6% between January and February, partially offsetting this upward trend.

The Bank of England (BoE) has increased its base interest rate ten consecutive times since December 2021 in an effort to ease inflation.

With the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee set to meet on Thursday (23 February), the latest inflation figures could influence policymakers to raise interest rates yet again.

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