The rate of inflation stayed at its highest level for almost a year in March, keeping up the squeeze on consumers.
The annual rate of consumer price inflation held at 2.8%, according to official data. That is the highest since last May and in line with economists’ forecasts.
The Office for National Statistics said the biggest upward pressures last month came from price rises for newspapers, books and digital cameras – including the effect of dearer ebooks, a new item in the basket of goods used to calculate inflation. There was only muted relief from fuel prices which rose by less than a year ago and some easing in food price inflation.
The Treasury welcomed the steadying in headline inflation, and economists said recent falls in the oil price and other commodities could mean the rate will not rise as much as previously feared in coming months. But most still expect it to tick higher from here, as does the Bank of England.
“New Bank governor Mark Carney will be welcomed by inflation that is likely to have breached 3% on his appointment in the summer alongside – perhaps most worrying – rising inflation expectations,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
via The Guardian
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