Rishi Sunak has said he would take personal responsibility if he failed to meet his target of halving inflation.
The Prime Minister promised to halve inflation by the end of this year, targeting Consumer Prices Index (CPI) at around 5.4%, but food prices have remained stubbornly high.
Mr Sunak told Channel 4 the target would be “hard to meet” but “I wanted to be ambitious”.
Speaking to the broadcaster in Washington, he said: “Of course I take responsibility – I’m the Prime Minister, it’s my job to deliver for people.
“The reason inflation is the number one priority is because inflation is the thing that is causing families the most hardship at the moment. It is eating into their pay packet, it’s harming the cost of living and that’s why I set it out as my first priority.
“I’m pleased that inflation is now starting to fall, but we can’t be complacent. When I set out that pledge at the beginning of the year, many people said to me it wasn’t ambitious enough, but I knew it was actually going to be hard to meet and I wanted to be ambitious for our country.
“It’s going to be ambitious for our country and to make a difference to people’s lives. We can’t be complacent and that’s why the Government has to keep at it. We have to be disciplined with public spending, with borrowing and keep bringing inflation down and that’s what we will do.”
The Office for National Statistics said CPI inflation fell to its lowest level for more than a year in April, at 8.7%, down from 10.1% in March, as energy prices stabilised after sky-high rises a year ago.
But it was higher than forecast by economists, who had pencilled in a drop to 8.2% in April.
Mr Sunak said his academic background – he has an MBA from Stanford in California – influenced his approach.
He told ITV: “I have an MBA that meant that I approached business in a particular way.
“And I actually think people will appreciate having someone with business experience, who can bring that experience into government. Actually, like I demonstrated as chancellor, my ability to manage the economy in difficult times. I think people can trust that I’ll deliver on the things that I say.”