UK inflation rises to highest level in 15 months

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LONDON (AP) — Britain's inflation rate has risen unexpectedly to its highest level in 15 months, driven by higher air fares over the Easter period.

The Office of National Statistics said Tuesday the annual inflation rate rose to 0.5 percent last month, up from 0.3 percent in February. It was slightly higher than consensus forecasts of 0.4 percent.

The rise was driven by air fares, which climbed 22.9 percent, and by clothing, which rose 1.7 percent.

Despite the increase, the rate remains well below the Bank of England's 2 percent target.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, says talk of higher interest rates on the back of Tuesday's rise was premature as the "overall trend remains weak."

The pound rebounded slightly on the news to $1.4308.