British Consumer Inflation at 2.8% in February

Consumer prices in Britain rose 2.8% in the year ending in February, up a tenth of a point from January's rate, the government said Tuesday.

The figure remained well above the official target of 2%, and kept up pressure for further hikes in base rates.

Increases in air fares were the major contributor to the higher February figure, offsetting decreases in fuel prices, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Retail Prices Index rose to 4.6% in February, compared to 4.2% in January, led by higher mortgage costs, which reflected the Bank of England's quarter-point hike in the base rate in January.

The provisional consumer price inflation rate for the European Union in February was 2.1%, the report said.