Inflation falls in March on lower clothing and petrol prices

UK inflation slipped lower in March on the back of falling clothes and motor fuel prices, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation decreased to 1.5% in March.

Analysts at Pantheon Macroeconomics predicted that the headline rate of inflation would slow to 1.6%.

Coronavirus
Fuel prices have slid in the response to the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia (Liam McBurney/PA)

CPI inflation was reported at 1.7% in February, after declining slightly from the previous month.

ONS head of inflation Mike Hardie said: “The inflation rate slowed again in March, mainly due to falling prices for clothing and motor fuel.

“Clothing prices normally rise between February and March as new year discounting ends.

“However, this year the price of clothes has eased due to some retailers offering discounts due to decreased footfall in stores before the lockdown started.

“The cost of raw materials for manufacturers fell significantly over the year, driven by a global fall in the price for crude oil, which is at its lowest level since early 2016.”

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