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The Office for National Statistics has revealed that UK inflation, as defined by the Consumer Prices Index, rose to an annualised 3.2% in August — up from 2% in July.

This represents the highest level since March 2012 and the largest month-on-month increase since detailed CPI data gathering began in 1997. Rising food costs are mainly held responsible.

The jump outstripped a recent Reuters poll of economists, which had predicted a 2.9% reading for August.

However, the ONS and Bank of England are still insisting that inflationary pressures are “temporary” as the British economy recovers.