Inflation down as air fares fall and clothes shops cut prices

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Inflation fell in April for the first time since last September as air fares fell back and clothes shops slashed prices on the high street, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation dropped to 0.3% from 0.5% in March as air fares fell by 14% month-on-month, having surged 23% the previous month due to the timing of Easter.

Shoppers saw clothing price tags cut by 0.4% during the month as womenswear retailers dropped prices amid flagging sales as they were hit by last month's cold weather.

But the ONS said April also saw prices on the forecourts rise, while food prices fell by less than they did a year earlier.

James Tucker, head of CPI at the ONS, said: "After five months of inflation gently rising, we have again seen a fall in CPI.

"The main reason for the drop was a fall in air fares, which saw a large rise in March due to the timing of the Easter holidays."