By Daniel Hunter

Official figures show that UK inflation measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) was 2.7% in the year to September, unchanged from August.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said upward pressure came from air fares, although this was offset by a downward contribution from petrol and diesel prices.

The ONS said the latest data continued the trend of broadly steady inflation seen since Spring 2012.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI), which takes into account housing costs, was down to 3.2% from 3.3% in August.

“The inflation picture here in the UK remains solid, according to these numbers. However, a near-term slip in the rate of price rises may have helped consumers, if only a little bit, as we enter the important 4th quarter — the part of the year which is the most important for consumer spending," Jeremy Cook, chief economist at the currency brokers World First, said.

“Air fares seem to have been the increase that has kept this CPI release higher; a possible function of cuts to air fares last year as travel companies enticed people to leave the UK after a month sat watching the Olympic and Paralympic games.

“Given recent chatter around utility rate increases any downward movement in CPI would have been, at the most temporary, and we would see these prices once again bounce higher as we move into the winter months.

“The disconnect between wages and prices continues apace and following news from the service industry that consumer facing companies are struggling will cast further doubt on a consumer-driven recovery.”

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