Inflation nudged lower last month due to the unwinding of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, despite rising fuel and transport costs.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell to 3.1% in September from 3.2% in August.
However, the figure remains far above the the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%.
Analysts had forecast that inflation was likely to stay flat at 3.2% for the month.
Commenting on today’s inflation figures for September, ONS Head of Prices, Mike Hardie said: (1/3) ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/R2oKTeapOL
— Office for National Statistics (ONS) (@ONS) October 20, 2021
Mike Hardie, head of prices at the ONS, said: “Annual inflation fell back a little in September due to the unwinding effect of last year’s Eat Out to Help Out, which was a factor in pushing up the rate in August.
“However, this was partially offset by most other categories, including price rises for furniture and household goods, and food prices falling more slowly than this time last year.
“The costs of goods produced by factories rose again, with metals and machinery showing a notable price rise.
“Road freight costs for UK businesses also continued to rise across the summer.”
Average petrol prices stood at 134.9 pence per litre in September 2021, compared with 113.3 pence per litre a year earlier, as fuel provided an upward pressure on inflation, the ONS said.