British consumer price inflation unexpectedly held steady last month as fuel prices fell amid other signs that the squeeze on households' spending power may slowly be starting to level off.
Official figures on Tuesday showed the pace at which manufacturers' raw material costs are rising slowed by the most in over five years as the initial impact of June 2016's vote to leave the European Union dropped out of annual comparisons.
Consumer price inflation held unchanged at 2.6 percent in July compared with the average expectation in a Reuters poll of economists for it to rise to 2.7 percent, the Office for National Statistics said.
"Falling fuel prices, offset by (rises in) the costs of food, clothing and household goods, left the headline rate of inflation unchanged in July," ONS statistician James Tucker said.
Further price rises may still be in train, as the Bank of England predicted at the start of the month that inflation will reach around 3 percent in October, after earlier touching a four-year high of 2.9 percent in May.