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UK inflation holds at 2.7 percent in December

LONDON (AP) -- Official statistics show that consumer price inflation held steady at 2.7 percent in December, in line with market expectations.

The Office for National Statistics said higher prices for electricity and gas were offset by lower costs for air travel.

The government's official inflation target is around 2 percent. The consumer price inflation rate has held at 2.7 percent since October.

Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight, says that rising costs for food and energy could push the rate to around 3 percent in the first half of this year.