UK inflation hits highest since 2013

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A shopping trolley is pushed around a supermarket in London, Britain May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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Last month British inflation recorded its highest level since September 2013, according to official data last Tuesday, underlining a strain on households prior to June 8 national elections.

Consumer prices increased in April by 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said, slightly above economists’ expectation for a 2.6 percent annual rise in a Reuters poll.

Inflation has accelerated in Britain in recent months, pushed up by a weakening of the pound since last year’s decision by voters to leave the European Union, and by the rise in oil prices which has fuelled inflation in other countries too.

Last week Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned this year would be challenging for consumers, saying that wages are about to fall in real, inflation-adjusted terms. Rising clothing prices, higher car tax and electricity also pushed up consumer prices.

Many economists say the impact of the fall in sterling on consumer prices will be felt more strongly in the coming months, and the central bank expects inflation to peak at nearly 3 percent by the end of this year.

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