Rate of inflation continues to slow


Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the rate of inflation fell again last month.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 3.4% in February from 3.6% in January.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI), which includes the cost of mortgage interest also fell by 0.2% to 3.7%, from 3.9% in January.

The figures were broadly in line with forecasts and inflation is expected to fall further during the course of 2012. Indeed, in line with Bank of England predictions inflation has fallen steadily since autumn 2011 and is now at its lowest level since November 2010.

Retail discounts

The rate of inflation was pushed lower by retailers offering discounts on their products to tempt people back to the high street after Christmas as well as domestic gas and electricity supply. The fall would have been even greater had it not been for rising alcohol prices.

Best buy savings accounts

The news that inflation has slowed further will be welcomed by savers who for many months have had to contend with high inflation and low interest rates.

Although interest rates show no sign of moving upwards, inflation slowing will at least give savers a fighting chance of beating inflation, something that has been almost impossible for the past year.

People on fixed incomes, particularly pensioners, as well as workers who have had below inflation pay rises will also welcome today’s news although with petrol prices still rising the effects of lower inflation may not be so obviously apparent felt as they might have been.