Inflation down to new four-year low

Inflation down to new four-year low

Inflation fell to a new four-year low after the sixth consecutive monthly decline in March, the latest official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate eased from 1.7% in February to 1.6% in March - partly due to fall in food and non-alcoholic drink prices.

But an even greater downward pressure on inflation came from fuel pump prices.

Petrol was unchanged from February to March in contrast to a 2.2p per litre rise during the same period in 2013 while diesel prices fell by 0.4p compared to a 1.9p rise a year earlier.

The ONS published separate figures on Wednesday showing average pay rises have risen above the rate of CPI inflation for the first time in four years.

While the latest CPI inflation rate is 1.6%, the figures revealed that pay including bonuses was 1.7% higher in the year to February.

This is the first time since spring 2010 that pay increases have not been outstripped by CPI inflation, the ONS reported.

Copyright Press Association 2014