Inflation remains unchanged for a fourth month

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The rate of inflation measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) held steady at 2.7% in January.

The rate has remained unchanged for the past four months - the longest period it has remained flat, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The chief inflationary pressures were attributed to alcohol and air fares.

MGM Advantage, the retirement income specialist, says with inflation remaining at 2.7%, UK households collectively need to find an extra £17.7 billion a year to maintain their standard of living enjoyed 12 months ago.

That means each household will typically need to spend an extra £678 a year.

Continued strain

Aston Goodey, distribution and marketing director at MGM Advantage, says: "Households are already at financial breaking point, but with inflation remaining stubbornly at 2.7% for four months in a row, people will continue to feel the strain from rising costs."

The inflation rate as measured by the retail prices index - which includes housing costs - was 3.3% in January 2013, up from 3.1% in December.

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