British consumer price inflation in July falls to 3.1 percent; still above target

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that inflationary pressures in Britain eased modestly during July.

The headline consumer price index rose 3.1 percent in the year to July, down from an equivalent 3.2 percent in June.

However, the rate announced Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics is still well above the government's official target of 2 percent.

The Bank of England will later publish a letter from the governor Mervyn King to finance minister George Osborne explaining why inflation has been more than a percentage point above target for three months in a row.

The statistics office also says the retail prices index — a measure widely used in wage negotiations — fell to 4.8 percent in the year to July from 5 percent in June.