UK inflation data March 2024

UK inflation eases to 3.2% but down less than expected

Inflation in the U.K. eased to 3.2% from 3.4% in March, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday 17th April 2024.

But a higher-than-expected reading creates more concern as investors push back bets on the timing of the first Bank of England (BoE) rate cut.

Economists expected 3.1% as inflation has been falling gradually since it peaked at 11.1% in late 2022.

Food prices provided the biggest downward drag on the headline rate, the ONS said, while motor fuels pushed it higher.

The core inflation rate, excluding energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco, was reported at 4.2%, slightly above the forecasted 4.1%. Services inflation, closely monitored by U.K. monetary policymakers, decreased from 6.1% to 6%, still surpassing the expectations of economists and the Bank of England (BoE).

The March core inflation figure, remaining above 4%, is expected to fuel speculation that inflation is more persistent than recent projections indicated, potentially delaying the anticipated timing of initial interest rate reductions.

UK inflation 3.2% March 2024

UK inflation 3.2% March 2024

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