Consumer Prices Index falls to 3%

Inflation fell sharply last month, with prices rising by less than this time last year, figures have shown.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Prices Index had fallen from January's 14-month high of 3.5% to 3%.

The decrease meant that the cost of items such as petrol and household goods saw smaller increases than 12 months earlier, with British Gas also cutting prices.

Petrol prices, which last year rose by a record 3.2p per litre to stand at 89.5p, rose by a far smaller 0.9p. Food and drink costs also went up by less than twelve months ago.

The only major upward impact on inflation came from women's clothing, where prices rose by more than a year ago.

The fall in CPI was slightly bigger than the 3.1% drop expected by many in the City.

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