Annual inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index, which includes housing costs such as mortgage interest payments and council tax – slowed to 0% in February, down from 0.1% in January.
Rising prices for food and drink, recreation and transport pushed Consumer Prices Index annual inflation – the government’s target measure – to 3.2% in February, up from 3% in January.
The increase this month follows four successive months of falls in CPI inflation.
The largest upward pressure on the CPI came from food and nonalcoholic
beverages. This category saw widespread increases, although the largest individual factor was the price of vegetables.
Factors affecting the RPI annual inflation rate were broadly the same as those influencing the CPI rate, although the RPI also experienced a strong downward pressure from housing costs, notably mortgage interest payments.
House price depreciation also had a small downward effect on RPI inflation.
RPIX inflation – the all-items RPI excluding mortgage interest payments – was 2.5% in February, up from 2.4% in January.
As an internationally-comparable measure of inflation, the CPI shows that the UK inflation rate in January, at 3.0%, was above the provisional figure for the EU as a whole of 1.7%.