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  1. National

Sharp drop in UK inflation

The headline rate of retail price index inflation fell to 2.6% from 3.2% in September, the Office of National Statistics said.

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  1. Richard Edgar

Motor fuels and tuition fees help curb inflation

There's been a surprisingly sharp drop in inflation this morning.

Prices rose by 2.2 per cent in October, down from 2.7 per cent the month before and well below economists' expectations.

A drop in petrol prices was one of the factors in the unexpectedly large inflation drop last month. Credit: PA

The main reasons were a sharp fall in transport costs, mainly motor fuels (for example a drop of 4.9p in petrol in October), and tuition fees.

The latter of these is a mathematical quirk: education costs rose 8 per cent but this was half the rate they were rising a year ago so the comparison contributes to a lower overall inflation figure.

Prices have been rising ahead of wages for years now. It's likely that that trend will be reversed some time next year but today's easing of inflation may bring the end of the squeeze on incomes a little closer.

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