Inflation falls to 2.7%: ONS

Warning Governor Mark Carney

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell to 2.7 per cent in February, down from 3 per cent in January, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

"We estimate that consumer price inflation dipped from 3.0% in January to 2.8% in February, as the impact of sterling's past depreciation continued to fade", says Liam Peach, an economist at Capital Economics.

Falling petrol prices and a slower rise in the cost of food contributed to a drop in United Kingdom consumer price inflation during February.

The hotel prices also dropped, and ferry tickets are rising more slowly than a year ago.

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That said, the Bank of England announces its latest interest rate decision Thursday and alongside this, it will publish a monologue of thoughts on the economy and the outlook for inflation. There is a speculation that the European Central Bank may raise its interest rates in May.

Previously, UK inflation rose from 0.3% in June 2016, the month of the Brexit referendum, to a high of 3.1% in November 2017.

This reduction in inflationary pressures may influence the Bank of England's stance on interest rates, making it less likely it will push ahead with a widely-expected increase in interest rates at the MPC meeting in May.

Phil Gooding, ONS head of CPI, said: "A small fall in petrol prices alongside food prices rising more slowly than past year helped pull down inflation, as numerous early 2017 price increases due to the previous depreciation of the pound have started to work through the system".

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Petrol prices fell on the month and food prices rose more slowly than in February 2017, he said. The data suggests that pressure on households as a result of accelerating inflation and wage stagnation may be over.

The ONS also said house prices in January rose by an annual 4.9 percent across the United Kingdom as a whole, down a touch from 5.0 percent in December but significantly higher than closely watched house price indexes from mortgage lender Halifax and Nationwide.

"Whilst we are moving back towards a position where there will be growth in real wages, that is wages adjusted for inflation, any substantial growth in real living standards is still some way off". The BoE expects pay to rise faster than prices.

"This fallback in inflation therefore provides little reason for the Bank of England to hold back from gradually raising interest rates". It is also higher than in the United States, where the Federal Reserve looks set to continue its series of interest rate hikes this week.

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