British inflation surges in April

13:15, May 18, 2011      

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Britain's consumer prices index (CPI) annual rate of inflation rose to 4.5 percent in April, compared with a 4-percent increase in March, the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported on Tuesday.

CPI now is at its highest level since October 2008, which is well above the central bank's inflation target of 2 percent.

The ONS attributed the rise to a jump in transport costs, particularly Easter prices in air and sea fares, as well as higher alcohol and tobacco prices.

According to ONS, air transport fares rose by 29 percent between March and April while sea fares increased by 22.3 percent.

Prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco rose by a record 5.3 percent in April, while clothing and footwear prices dropped by 1.3 percent.

The ONS also said the fact that Easter fell much earlier last year and did not affect April 2010 CPI partly explained the jump in prices.

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England stressed the high inflation was due to the "increase in VAT to 20 percent in January, higher energy prices and increases in import prices."

Britain has seen 17 consecutive months when the country's inflation rate was at least one percentage point above target.

Analysts say the accelerating inflation rates put further pressure on the central bank to raise the interest rate sooner. The Bank of England kept the interest rate unchanged at a historical low of 0.5 percent last month.

Source: Xinhua
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