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UK Inflation Unexpectedly Accelerates For First Time In 6 Months

UK consumer price inflation unexpectedly accelerated in February for the first time in six months, preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The consumer price index rose 1.9 percent year-on-year following a 1.8 percent increase in January. Economists had expected the inflation rate to remain unchanged.

Core inflation slowed to 1.80 percent from 1.90 percent. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

The CPI including owner occupiers' housing costs rose 1.8 percent year-on-year in February, same as in January. That was in line with economists' expectations.

In February, higher prices for food, alcohol and tobacco, and price increases for recreational and cultural goods made the largest upward contributions to inflation.

The biggest downward contribution came from clothing and footwear, with prices rising between January and February 2019 but by less than between the same two months a year ago, the ONS said.

Input price inflation accelerated to 3.7 percent from 2.6 percent in January. Economists had projected inflation of 4.10 percent.

Output price inflation edged up to 2.2 percent in February from 2.1 percent in January. That was in line with economists' expectations.

The ONS also reported that UK house price inflation slowed to 1.7 percent in January, thus marking the weakest level since June 2013.

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