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UK inflation posts surprise fall to 3% in April

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  • 22/05/2012
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UK inflation posts surprise fall to 3% in April
Inflation in the UK dropped in April, beating the consensus forecast.

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell from 3.5% in March to 3%, lower than the 3.1% analysts had expected.

Retail Prices Index inflation eased from 3.6% to 3.5%, against a 3.4% consensus forecast.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the the timing of Easter had a significant impact on the April data. “Air transport, off-sales of alcohol, clothing and sea transport were the most significant drivers behind the decrease in annual inflation between March and April.

“Partially offsetting these were smaller upward pressures from the operation of personal transport equipment, restaurants and hotels, and rents,” it said.

The largest downward pressures to the change in RPI came from alcoholic drinks, clothing, fares and other travel, and car sales. Partially offsetting these were upward pressures from housing, and petrol and oil, the ONS added.

In March CPI had climbed as higher food and clothing prices pushed inflation up.

Bucking the downward trend seen for the last six months, CPI inflation rose from 3.4% in February.

It was the first rise since September, and came despite a series of expected falls in recent months.

RPI inflation fell to 3.6% from 3.7% in February.

CPI inflation had been creeping down towards its 2% target until last month, with 3.4% recorded in February, down from 3.6% in January.

The ONS said the largest upward pressures came from food, clothing and recreation & culture.

The Bank of England expects inflation will fall towards the 2% target this year, as lacklustre growth continues to be seen.

 

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