Lower food prices keep consumer price index constant

Published 18 April 19

The consumer price index (CPI) in the UK for March 2019 was 1.9%, unchanged from the previous month. The latest inflation figure was below market expectations (which expected a rise to 2.0% as a result of growth in wages) and remains below the Bank of England’s (BoE) target of 2.0%.

Overall, lower costs for clothing and footwear offset higher petrol prices. Food prices were lower compared with February, particularly for meat, milk, cheese and eggs and oils and fats. Bread and cereal prices were higher than in February, but not enough to offset price reductions in other food categories.

The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee is scheduled for 2 May, where the BoE interest rate is set. The lack of change in the latest inflation data suggests that there is unlikely to be a change in the interest rate as, despite wage growth and a strong jobs market, there is still a shadow of uncertainty hanging over the economy due to Brexit.