UK consumer prices jumped by 10.4% in February compared with a year ago, as food inflation hit its highest level in more than 45 years, and as the cost of visiting restaurants and hotels increased, official data showed Wednesday.
Food prices soared 18.2% through the year to February, the sharpest rise since the late 1970s. The Office for National Statistics noted particular increases for some salad and vegetable items, partly caused by shortages, which led to rationing by supermarkets.
The surprise uptick in inflation in February follows months of deceleration since the pace of price rises reached a 41-year high of 11.1% in October.
The latest figures could make it more likely that the Bank of England hikes interest rates again when it meets Thursday.
Although recent turmoil in the banking sector is expected to weaken economic activity, as lending…