UK inflation unexpectedly fell in August as a drop in hotel and air fare costs and a slowdown in food price rises helped offset a jump in fuel costs, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index inflation was 6.7% in August, down from 6.8% in July.

It marks the lowest rate since February last year. Analysts had predicted inflation to accelerate last month to a reading of 7.1% due to a sharp rise in motor fuel amid a rebound in oil prices.

READ MORE: 'Widespread UK interest rate misery seems to suit hapless Tories'

Grant Fitzner, the ONS’s chief economist, said: “The rate of inflation eased slightly this month driven by falls in the often-erratic cost of overnight accommodation and air fares, as well as food prices rising by less than the same time last year.

“This was partially offset by an increase in the price of petrol and diesel compared with a steep decline at this time last year, following record prices seen in July 2022.

“Core inflation has slowed this month by more than the headline rate, driven by lower services prices.”