19 Apr 2023
UK inflation has dropped, but remains in double-digit levels, as the cost-of-living crisis eased slightly last month.
The annual consumer prices index dropped to 10.1% in March, down from 10.4% in February, the Office for National Statistics reports.
It was widely expected to fall below 10%, but food prices remained stubbornly high, rising at their fastest rate in 45 years.
Increased prices for bread, cereal and chocolate meant the cost of living rose more than expected last month.
Alpesh Paleja, Lead Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'February's uptick in inflation proved to be short-lived, with the CPI rate having fallen back in March. Inflation should continue to fall over the rest of this year, thanks to lower energy prices and base effects unwinding.
'But with the CPI rate set to stay above the Bank of England's target, this will still be a tough year for many households – in particular, the strength in food price inflation will continue to have a big impact on peoples' pockets.
'Monetary policy is now facing a renewed trade-off, with the inflation outlook looking more benign against the backdrop of some resilience in economic activity. With domestic price pressures still stubbornly strong, it's plausible that the Bank of England will raise interest rates again at its May meeting. Nonetheless, we're likely close to the peak in this rate-tightening cycle.'