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Business News

Surge in fuel and fashion costs drive inflation rate back up to 0.7%


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The rate of inflation ticked up markedly in March as fuel and fashion costs rose in anticipation of an easing in coronavirus lockdown measures, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the consumer prices index (CPI) measure rose to 0.7% – essentially unwinding the sharp fall to 0.4% in February that had been driven by the sharpest drop in fashion costs since 2009.

The report said that while the COVID-19 pandemic had skewed traditional seasons for shifts in clothing and footwear prices, there was a 1.6% leap recorded in March as the industry expected to benefit from an easing of lockdown measures heading into the summer season.

The ONS noted an easing of discounting but said it still remained unseasonably high by normal standards.

Higher fuel costs – a consequence of rising oil prices – also made an upwards contribution to the rising rate though a continuing supermarket price war helped keep a check on food costs with prices 1.4% down in the year to March.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics, Jonathan Athow, said of the big picture: “The rate of inflation increased with petrol prices rising and clothes recovering from the falls seen in February.

“However, food prices fell back on the year, as prices of some staples were lower than at the start of the pandemic.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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