Inflation remains close to year high

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UK consumer prices index (CPI) inflation remained unchanged at 2.8% in the year to March, after a slight rise during February.

In February, rising energy prices pushed the reading to its highest level since May of last year, from 2.7% to 2.8%.

The largest upward contribution in March came from the recreation & culture sector where audio-visual equipment and books, newspapers & stationery all saw price prices.

The largest downward contributions came from furniture & furnishings, motor fuels and meat.

CPI remained broadly flat through the second half of 2012 and into 2013 following a number of years of large increases and decreases, the ONS said. 

Over the last six months, CPI  has been relatively stable, standing at 2.7% for four months followed by 2.8% for February and March 2013.

CPIH, the new measure of consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs, grew by 2.6% in the year to March 2013, unchanged from February.

The slower growth in CPIH is due to owner occupiers’ housing costs increasing more slowly than overall inflation for other consumer goods and services in the year to March, according to the ONS. 

George Charles, marketing director of www.VoucherCodesPro.co.uk, said:

“The fact that inflation has again failed to fall this month is another blow for consumers. Combined with government cuts to reduce the deficit, the price rises caused by inflation are having a real impact on family finances.”

He continued: “We see from conversations amongst our money saving community that price increases are taking their toll on monthly budgets. For example, whilst many welcome the lower rate of inflation for fuel, a rise in car insurance premiums means that the family car is no cheaper to run. With experts predicting that inflation levels are unlikely to fall anytime soon, 2013 looks like being a tough year for consumers.”