The Office for National Statistics in Britain said the annual inflation rate dropped slightly in July. The annual rate slipped to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent with the largest contributor to the decline coming from air fares, followed by price changes for recreation and cultural events. Shifting prices for clothing and footwear also contributed to the slower overall rate. From June to July, prices were flat, in line with expectations. Core prices, however, which excludes food and energy prices, which can be volatile, rose 2 percent after rising 2.3 percent in June. Core price gains were not as high as predicted. Economist had been expecting a 2.2 percent price gain for core items.