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The cost of clothes and food items pushed inflation higher than expected in October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said inflation rose to 0.7% in October, up from 0.5% in September. Economic analysts had expected the rate of inflation to remain steady at 0.5% for the month.

In addition to clothing and food prices, the ONS reported a rise in the cost of second hand cars and video games. However, falls in energy prices and holidays offset the impact.

Jonathan Athow, deputy statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said: “The rate of inflation increased slightly as clothing prices grew, returning to their normal seasonal pattern after the disruption this year.”

The ONS also revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic had altered the normal annual fluctuations in clothing and shoe prices. Ordinarily, prices fall during the summer sales before new autumn ranges enter shops and fall again at the end of the year sales. However, retailers understandably dropped prices in March and April at the start of lockdown to encourage online sales, and picked up again in the summer when stores were allowed to reopen.

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