Rising energy bills help push inflation to 4.7%

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Inflation in August reached 4.7 per cent, partly due to double-digit increases in energy costs, it has been revealed.

The figure is 0.3 per cent higher than the 4.4 per cent seen in July and more than twice the government's two per cent target.

Electricity prices year-on-year rose 18 per cent, up from the 12.6 per cent annualised increase seen in July.

Gas inflation almost doubled - to 27.7 per cent in August from 12.9 per cent in July.

Other factors also pushing up the consumer price index rate of inflation included increases in the price of food, in particular bread and wheat products such as pizza and breakfast cereals.

However, falls in petrol and diesel prices helped to offset the increases from other sectors, with the price of petrol falling by 5.5 pence per litre and diesel falling by 6.7 pence.

Despite the economic slowdown and the credit crunch, the Bank of England has been recently unable to cut interest rates because of rising inflation.

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