Inflation has jumped sharply to 1.9% in the year to June from 1.5% in May, driven by clothing price rises.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed clothing and footwear prices rose overall by 0.6% in June against a 1.9% fall a year ago. The ONS said prices usually fall between May and June as the summer sales begin but this year has recorded a rise, mainly due to price increases across women’s outerwear, particularly from trousers and skirts.
Food and non-alcoholic drinks prices increased in June but fell in the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, furniture, household equipment and maintenance prices edged up overall by 0.2%in June but fell 0.5% a year ago, driven by furniture and furnishings.
The ONS said there were no large downwards contributions to inflation in the month.
The inflation rise strengthens the argument for interest rates to rise, as falling inflation recorded over the past few months, excluding April, has kept the Bank of England from increasing the rate. However, it is still below the 2% target.