Rate of inflation HALVES to 0.8% in April from 1.5% in March as coronavirus recession looms – The Sun

INFLATION has today halved to 0.8 per cent from 1.5 per cent as the coronavirus recession kicks in.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today confirmed the rate of Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation decreased in the year to April from March.

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Falling energy and fuel pump prices were the largest contributors to pushing prices down.

But the ONS points out that this was somewhat offset by the rising price of recreational goods.

Similarly, the CPIH measure of inflation, which includes housing costs, fell to 0.9 per cent in April down from 1.5 per cent in March 2020.

It comes as just yesterday ONS figures revealed the number of people claiming benefits in April has soared by 70 per cent to almost 2.1million due to the coronavirus crisis.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN INFLATION RISES?

PRICES will go up for most things – clothing, food, travel…the cost of living will get a bit more expensive.

These rises have been fuelled by the weak pound and it means those on the lowest incomes will be hit hardest.

It means that not one of the 750 standard savings accounts on the market now beat inflation.

Here's how you can protect yourself against rising inflation:

  • check you’re on a fixed rate energy tariff (one that guarantees the price you pay per unit) and if not switch
  • make sure your savings are earning an interest rate that’s higher than the rate of inflation – otherwise they’ll lose buying power over time – you might need to think about high interest current accounts
  • shop around for food and fuel so you’re not paying any more than you need to
  • check whether you could cut your mortgage repayments by switching to a fixed rate deal if you’re on your lender’s standard variable rate

Meanwhile, unemployment figures jumped by 50,000 to 1.35million in the three months to March, the ONS said.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician for economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics, said: "While the coronavirus limited the availability of some goods and services, its effect on prices was more muted.

"Falling petrol and diesel prices, combined with changes to the domestic energy price cap were the main reasons for lower inflation in April.

"Games, toys and hobbies saw rising prices, perhaps as people occupied their time at home.

"Food prices grew no more quickly than other goods and services, though fresh vegetables did see stronger rises."

More to follow…

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