Consumer price inflation (CPI) slowed to 3.1% in July, down from 3.2% in June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

It is the third month in a row that prices have risen more slowly, but the growth is still above the Bank of England’s 2% target, meaning the governor of the Bank of England now has to write to the chancellor of the exchequer explaining why inflation is still above target.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) slowed to 4.8% last month, from 5% in June.

Downwards pressure on the CPI rate came from clothing and footwear, with prices falling 4.9% - the largest decline for a June to July period since 2002.

Further downward pressures came from furniture and home products, where prices fell 5.1%.

Upward pressures came from food and non-alcoholic beverages, where prices grew 1%..