Inflation across the UK fell in March, as the government’s Covid-19 lockdown hit demand for some goods.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics released this morning show Consumer prices rose by 1.5% per year last month down from 1.7% in February, and the lowest since December.

Falls in the price of motor fuels and clothing resulted in the largest downward contributions to the change said the ONS.Rises in air fares produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution to change.

They added that sales patterns this year are likely to have been influenced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although prices were collected around 17 March, before the formal government lockdown was introduced on 23 March, consumer behaviours and retailers’ expectations of that behaviour might have changed as a result of social distancing and other precautions.

A number of factors might have contributed to the change, including less browsing in physical stores, people spending more time at home where they might have been less interested in clothing, and a shift in spending patterns towards other necessities such as food and cleaning products.


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