Cheaper clothes and fuel pushed inflation down to 1.5% in March – The Sun

CHEAPER clothes and fuel pushed UK inflation down to 1.5 per cent in March.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell from 1.7 per cent in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Clothing prices dropped as retailers offered discounts as sales fell just before self-distancing measures were imposed, ONS said.

While oil prices have also crashed recently due to the pandemic, leading to cheaper fuel.

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."

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, said: "Oil prices have a massive impact on the UK’s inflation rate and with prices at the pump and home energy costs getting cheaper we’d expect this trend to continue for the next couple of months.

“What’s more, with retailers having to shut their doors we’re seeing more and more offer discounts to shoppers to move their buying online.

"Savers will welcome the news of a drop in inflation, as they have been pummelled with two further falls in the Bank of England base rate this year and a multitude of cuts to interest rates on savings accounts.

"However, it remains the case that no easy-access savings account meets the level of inflation, but savers who are willing to lock their money up for a year can at least keep pace with inflation."

More to follow…

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