UK inflation rate leaps to six month high of 2.7%

Shoppers were hit with higher price tags for autumn clothing last month (PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

UK Inflation rose to the highest level in six months in August, pushed up by the rising cost of transport, theatre tickets and clothing stores.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 2.7% in August, compared to 2.5% in July.

The data’s upward move was surprising given economists were expecting inflation to edge lower to 2.4%.

ECONOMY Inflation Credit: PA Graphics

One of the largest upward drivers to price inflation was recreation and cultural services, which rose 2.2% month on month.

It impacted upon the likes of theatre-goes, who shelled out more for entertainment in August.

Transport services rose 4.6% last month, driven by a 13.5% hike in air fares and a 17.2% rise in sea fares including international ferry routes.

Clothing also contributed to the upward move in August inflation, rising 3.3% month-on-month, as shoppers hit the high street for autumn fashions.

ONS head of inflation Mike Hardie said: "Consumers paid more for theatre shows, sea fares and new season autumn clothing last month."

"However, mobile phone charges, and furniture and household goods had a downward effect on inflation," Mr Hardie added.

Telephone equipment and services, which includes mobile phone charges, rose just 0.4% on August, compared to a 1.7% jump during the same period last year.

Price rises for household goods and furniture slowed, rising just 1.2% compared to a 1.8% jump a year earlier.

Shoppers were paying more more for groceries each month. Credit: PA

But shoppers were paying more more for groceries, with food prices rising 0.3% month on month, and 2.1% on a 12-month basis.

Fish, vegetables, sugars and confectionery had the biggest upward contribution.

At the pumps, motorists were also facing higher fuel costs last month, with petrol up by 1.4p per litre on the month to 128.6p per litre.

Diesel also rose by 1.2p to 132.8p per litre.

Prices for electricity, gas and other fuels were flat month-on-month.

Prices for electricity, gas and other fuels were flat month-on-month. Credit: PA

The Retail Prices Index (RPI), a separate measure of inflation, was 3.5% last month, up from 3.2% in July.

The Consumer Prices Index, including owner-occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) - the ONS’s preferred measure of inflation - was 2.4% in August, up from 2.3% in July.

Mr Hardie said: "UK house prices continued to grow but at their lowest annual rate for five years, driven again by a fall in London.

"The housing market saw strong growth in the North West, South West and West Midlands."