22 March: UK consumer price inflation rose unexpectedly to 10.4% in February from 10.1% in January, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the annual CPI rate to fall to 9.9% in January, further away from October’s 41-year high of 11.1% but still eating into the purchasing power of workers whose wages are growing less.
The Bank of England is due to announce on Thursday whether it has raised interest rates for the 11th session in a row.
Core CPI – which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco and is tracked by the BoE – rose to 6.2% from January’s 5.8%, versus forecasts for a decline to 5.7%.
The annual rate of inflation in the services sector, seen by most policymakers as a good measure of underlying price pressures in the economy, rose to 6.6% after 6.0% in January.