Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said getting inflation down to the central bank's 2% target will be "hard work" as most of its recent fall was due to the unwinding of the jump in energy costs last year.

"The rest of it has to be done by policy and monetary policy," Bailey said in an interview with website ChronicleLive.

"And policy is operating in what I call a restrictive way at the moment - it is restricting the economy. The second half, from there to two, is hard work and obviously we don't want to see any more damage." (Writing by Sarah Young Editing by William Schomberg)