Figures published by the Office for National Statistics today suggest consumer prices increased in February according to the official way of measuring changes.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose to an annualised rate of 2% from 1.9% in January, as prices of computer games, newspapers, and books increased faster than they did during the same month one year earlier.
Fuel prices did increase, but at a slower rate than they did in February 2005, likewise transportation cost increases were slower than previously. Both factors acted as a brake on overall inflation, the ONS states.
The rate of inflation according to the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPIX, which excludes mortgage interest payments, both remained unchanged at 2.4% and 2.3% respectively.
CPI, RPI and RPIX have all experienced falling rates of inflation since September last year.
The biggest drivers of inflation over the past 12 months have been household and household services costs, transportation and education. These are all increasing at twice or even three times the official target rate of inflation of 2% - as measured by the CPI and used by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.
Clothing and footware continues its role as the anchor of annualized inflation, with average costs down 4.7% in the past 12 months, the ONS figures suggest.
In related news the ONS says it will start publishing a new monthly index based on CPI, which excludes indirect taxes, as well as one that represents CPI at constant tax rates.
Both indices, developed in line with recommendations from Eurostat, the European Union body tasked with collecting statistics, are designed to measure movements in underlying prices, excluding price changes seen as the direct result of changes to taxes.
The ONS says the new indices will help present a better picture of the impact of changes in taxes on inflation, in order to identify the level of effect of government decisions.
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