London: Britain's annual inflation rate dropped sharply in July to below seven percent, official data revealed Wednesday, off the back of lower energy prices and in line with economists' expectations.

The Consumer Prices Index rose by an annual rate of 6.8 percent, down from 7.9 percent in June, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

The CPI rate is the lowest in 15 months, and met the predictions of analysts, including the Bank of England, which had forecast that rate of growth for July.

However, the UK's inflation rate has for months remained the highest among G7 nations despite the bank hiking its key interest rate more than a dozen times since late 2021 in a bid to tame it.

Although there was a fall in gas and electricity prices in July, food prices continued to rise, but less quickly than the same month a year earlier.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has set a target of halving inflation through this year to around five percent by the end of 2023.

He said Wednesday's figures showed "the plan is working".

"If we stick to the plan I've set out, we'll get it done," Sunak added.

Data published Tuesday showed that UK unemployment increased in the three months to the end of June while wages grew at record annual pace.