Consumer prices in Britain head higher

July 16, 2013 at 8:43 AM

LONDON, July 16 (UPI) -- The Office for National Statistics in Britain said the annual inflation rate turned higher in June, climbing to 2.9 percent.

Eurostat said Tuesday that the annual inflation rate for the eurozone in June also climbed 0.2 percentage points. But the inflation rate for the 17-member currency region came to 1.6 percent in June, remaining under the 2 percent threshold that many central banks use as a standard for concern.

A 2 percent or under inflation rate is considered healthy, so long as prices do not actually drop -- a pattern called deflation that tends to indicate a becalmed economy.

Eurostat said the lowest annual inflation rate in Europe was in Greece, where the rate is minus 0.3 percent. Romania posted the highest rate for June at 4.5 percent.

Britain's rate, which is not included in the Eurostat report, ranks fourth highest in the 27-member European Union, behind Romania, Estonia and the Netherlands.

The ONS said Britain's inflation "is slightly above the figures over the previous 12 months, but below the levels reached between the start of 2010 and spring 2012."

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