17 Aug 2011

UK inflation now 4.4%

5:56 am on 17 August 2011

The rate of inflation in Britain rose in July, following higher prices for clothing and footwear and fees for financial services.

The Consumer Prices Index rose to 4.4% from 4.2% in June, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The Retail Prices Index measure was unchanged at 5%.

Clothing and footwear prices measured for CPI saw their biggest annual increase since records began in 1997.

Bank of England governor Mervyn King has written another letter to the Chancellor to explain why CPI inflation remains well above the 2% target rate.

He blamed the continuing high inflation rate on an ''increase in the standard rate of VAT to 20% and past increases in global energy prices and import prices''.

He also stressed that ''the big risks currently facing the UK economy come from the rest of the world''.

The Bank of England said last week that it remained confident that inflation would return to its target level in the next two years.