UK annual inflation slows to 1.8% in June

LONDON: British 12-month inflation slowed to 1.8 percent in June, dropping under the Bank of England's 2.0-percent target for the first time in almost two years, official data showed Tuesday.

"Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual inflation fell to 1.8 percent in June, down from 2.2 percent in May and the first time it has fallen below the government's 2.0-percent target since September 2007," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

It added: "The largest downward pressure on the CPI came from food and non-alcoholic drink prices, which fell between May and June this year but increased over the same period last year."

The Bank of England is tasked by the government with keeping British annual inflation close to a 2.0-percent target.

CPI inflation increased by 0.3 percent in June on a monthly basis from May, the ONS added.

The data compared with economists' forecasts given by Dow Jones Newswires for an annual rise of 1.9 percent and monthly gain of 0.3 percent.

CPI annual inflation peaked at 5.2 percent in August 2008 but has since plunged largely because of slumping crude oil prices.