Rising fuel prices push up inflation

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The Independent Online

A surge in petrol prices pushed the annual rate of inflation higher in September for the fourth straight month, official figures showed today.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 2.5% last month from 2.4% in August - remaining at its highest level since current records started in 1997.

This was weaker than many analysts had predicted, due to sectors such as clothing and footwear.

A major factor in the increase was a sharper rise in the cost of transport, as petrol prices went up by 4.6p a litre on the month.

Another major upward effect came from recreation, mainly because last year's special offers on computer games consoles were not repeated this year.

The biggest downward effect came from clothing and footwear, as the price of the new season's stock increased by less than a year ago.

There were also sales on some items of children's clothing compared with increases last year.

A steep fall in air fares offset the higher price of petrol.

The latest increase drove the rate of inflation above the Government's 2% target for the third consecutive month.

In its quarterly Inflation Report in August, the Bank of England predicted CPI inflation would rise above the target in the short term.

The Bank said it would then ease off again before once again passing this level at the end of the two-year forecast period.

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