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Price rises continue as inflation hits new high

Inflation is currently running at more than twice the target rate, new figures suggest.The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released today, showing that average price rises hit 4.4 per cent for July.This is 0.6 per cent up on June's figure, and 0.2 per cent above analysts' expectations for last month.Moreover, it is 2.4 per cent above the Bank of England's own target.The new Retail Price Index (RPI) - an alternative inflation measure - was also released, and also showed a rise.Big rises in food prices and fuel were blamed for the new five per cent rate - up from 4.6 per cent in June.Global Insight economist Howard Archer said: "The sharp spike up in inflation in July increases the risk that the Bank of England will raise interest rates despite the fact that the economy seems more likely than not to contract over the second half of the year."

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