Cheaper clothes and cars pull inflation down to 0.4 per cent as house prices fall

Cheaper clothes and second-hand cars helped pull down the UK inflation rate in February, official figures show.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 0.4 per cent in February, down from 0.7 per cent the previous month.

Economists had expected inflation to rise slightly as economic activity increased, pushing up energy prices.

The Bank of England expects that inflation will hit its 2 per cent target by the end of this year. Some analysts are predicting a sharper rise.

ONS deputy national statistician for economic statistics Jonathan Athow said: “A fall in clothing prices helped to ease inflation in February, traditionally a month where we would see these prices rise, but the impact of the pandemic has disrupted standard seasonal patterns.”

Clothes prices typically rise during the Spring and fall later in the year as retailers discount their stock.

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