U.K. Inflation Falls to 2.5% in May

Consumer price inflation eased to 2.5% in the 12 months ending in May, down from 2.8% in April, the government said Tuesday.

Though the figure was above the government's target of 2% or less for the 13th consecutive month, the fall will bring some relief to the Bank of England which rose its base interest rate to a six-year high of 5.5% last month.

The Office for National Statistics said drops in the prices of energy and food were the major factor in the lower rate.

The Retail Price Index, a measure which includes mortgage payments, was up 4.3% in the year ending in May, compared with 4.5% in April.

Consumer price inflation peaked at 3.1% in March.

The Bank of England's governor Mervyn King, told a business group Monday night that interest rates may need to go higher, the Financial Times reported.

Citing a number of inflationary factors, King told the Welsh Confederation of British Industry that "if these indicators remain elevated, the (bank) may need to take further action."