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Aug 18, 4:57 AM EDT

UK inflation rate edges up slightly, still near zero


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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's annual inflation rate edged up to 0.1 percent in July - the sixth month in a row it has hovered at or near zero.

The Office of National Statistics says the rate compared with a flat reading in June and was due to clothing prices, as there were smaller price discounts in this year's summer sales compared with a year ago. Food and fuel prices continued to drop, holding overall costs back.

The figure released Tuesday means there's little pressure for the Bank of England to raise interest rates.

Some policymakers, however, are concerned about the impact of low rates over the long term. Kristin Forbes, a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, told the Daily Telegraph that "waiting too long would risk undermining the recovery."

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