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The Office for National Statistics reported that the annual rate of inflation rose by 2.4% in June, matching May's figure which was a one-year low and falling short of expectations for an increase of 2.6%.

Inflation remained at 2.4% for the third month in a row.

There was also a drop in the prices of games, toys and hobbies, particularly in the cost of computer games, sending prices for recreation and culture down 0.4% overall.

Core inflation was significantly weaker than expected at 1.9 per cent year-on-year, which will make it more hard for the Bank of England to raise rates, particularly given a backdrop of Brexit and trade uncertainty. The latter, along with a smaller than expected rise in furniture & furnishing prices accounts for most of the downside surprise in today's numbers compared to the forecast.

Faster rising prices would have given the Bank of England (BoE) more of a motivation to increase interest rates next month, but today's inflation data combined with yesterday's lacklustre wage growth figures could force policymakers into a rethink.

Petrol prices hit their highest in four years in the month, halting the decline in inflation that has been occurring since the start of 2018.

Threadneedle Street may still be able to point towards recovering economic growth across the United Kingdom in recent months, although subdued levels of inflation and weak wage growth remove some of the impetus for raising the cost of borrowing.

Food prices eased by 0.6%, due primarily to a drop in fruit prices and a category that includes syrup, sugar, jam, chocolate and confectionery, for which prices fell 1.1% and 1.3% respectively. While the WPI is no longer the primary focus in the Reserve Bank of India's inflation-targeting approach to monetary policy formulation - having ceded that role to the Consumer Price Index - the gauge remains economically significant nevertheless. Investors cut the probability of an August rate rise to 78 percent from 84 percent on Tuesday, and Fidelity International said it doesn't expect a hike.

"Now it looks odds-on that the MPC will hold fire yet again". While these came through, they were offset by falling prices for clothes and games.

There have been some signs of recovery which could encourage the BoE to raise interest rates in August, to counter the high levels of Inflation that have been seen since the Brexit vote. Economists had expected growth of 0.4%.

The Retail Prices Index, a separate measure of inflation, was 3.4 per cent last month, up from 3.3 per cent in May.

House prices rose 3 percent in May from a year earlier, the slowest rate since August 2013.