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British inflation drops to lowest

Lower food costs and energy bills helped Britain's annual inflation rate in May fall to its lowest level since the start of 2008 despite a rise in the cost of imported goods due to the lower value of the pound, official figures showed yesterday.

The Office for National Statistics said consumer price inflation in the year to May fell to 2.2 percent from April's 2.3 percent. The decline was far smaller than anticipated, however. The markets were expecting the headline rate to drop to the Bank of England's target of 2 percent. The CPI measure has now been above target for 20 months.

It has fallen monthly except once since September's inflation peak of 5.2 percent.

The statistics office said there was upward pressure on prices from tax rises on alcohol and cigarettes.


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