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UK inflation dropped to 8.7 per cent in April, a smaller fall than the Bank of England expected, raising pressure on the central bank to keep increasing interest rates. 

The figure will come as a blow to ministers and the central bank because the fall in consumer price inflation from 10.1 per cent in March was significantly smaller than the expected drop to 8.4 per cent. 

Food price inflation remained close to 45-year peaks, at 19.1 per cent in April compared with 19.2 per cent in March. 

More worrying for price stability is that core inflation, excluding food, alcohol, tobacco and energy prices, jumped from 6.2 per cent to 6.8 per cent, underlining the danger that high inflation remains persistent in the UK. 

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, said: “The IMF said yesterday we’ve acted decisively to tackle inflation but although it is positive that it is now in single digits, food prices are still rising too fast.”

“We must stick resolutely to the plan to get inflation down,” he added.

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