U.K. inflation unexpectedly held at 2.4 percent last month as cheaper clothing and computer games offset the rising cost of filling up a vehicle.
Consumer prices were unchanged from May, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday. Annual inflation was expected to accelerate to 2.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Core inflation slowed to 1.9 percent, a 15-month low.
Clothing and footwear prices fell by 2.1 percent between May and June, the biggest decline for the month since 2012, with the ONS reporting a greater incidence of discounting. There was also downward pressure from computer games, toys and hobbies.
These effects were partly offset by auto fuel as the costing of filling up rose by 2.2 percent. Petroleum prices climbed by 2.7 pence per liter to 128 pence and the cost of diesel advanced by 2.9 pence to 132.1 pence, both the highest since September 2014.
Upward pressure also came from electricity and gas prices after suppliers including British Gas, EDF and Scottish Power increased their tariffs in response to higher wholesales costs.
The figures represent the last take on inflation before Bank of England policy makers decide whether to raise interest rates on Aug. 2. While a hike is widely expected in financial markets, inflation last month was below the 2.5 percent forecast by the BOE in May.
Separate figures showed producer input prices rose 0.2 percent, taking the annual rate of increase to 10.2 percent.
Factories, however, have chosen to absorb much of the pressure rather than pass it on to consumers with output prices rising 3.1 percent on the year.
House prices rose 3 percent in May from a year earlier, the slowest rate since August 2013. The worst-performing region was London, where prices fell 0.4 percent as Brexit fears and stretched affordability sapped demand.
Source : Bloomberg