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  1. ITV Report

Bank target exceeded as inflation rate rises to 2.3%

Inflation rose to 2.3% in February - beyond the Bank of England's 2% target - as sterling's post-Brexit collapse made everyday items more expensive.

Rising food and fuel prices pushed the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation to its highest level since September 2013.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced the rise from 1.8% in January, the first above-target increase since November 2013.

2.3%
The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in February.
1.8%
The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in January.

The figure will put pressure on the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee to hike interest rates beyond 0.25% this year.

ITV News Economics Editor Noreena Hertz recognised the impact of Brexit on the latest figures:

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi broke down the key consumer price areas:

Food became more expensive as producers passed down soaring import costs triggered by the pound's slump since the EU referendum result.

Shock weather conditions that ravaged crops saw the price of iceberg lettuces jump 67.2% between January and February. Credit: PA

The supermarket price war had otherwise kept a lid on price rises.

The price of petrol lifted by 1.6p per litre at the pumps to 120.2p for February, while diesel increased by 123.2p per litre to 1.3p over the period.

Responding to the latest CPI figures, the Treasury said a "strong economy and sustainable public finances are vital to achieve rising living standards".

A spokesperson added: "The government appreciates that families are concerned about the cost of living, and that is why we are cutting tax for millions of working people, increasing the National Living Wage to £7.50 per hour from next month, and freezing fuel duty for the seventh year in a row."

The Bank of England, which will continue to use CPI as its measure for setting interest rates, had predicted inflation would rise to 2% in February.

The Bank predicts a peak of 2.8% in the first half of next year, before falling back to 2.4% in three years' time.

The Retail Prices Index, a separate measure of inflation, rose to 3.2% in February, up from 2.6% in January.