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News - 15 April 2011

UK Inflation Rate falls to 4% in March

The drop in the UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual rate of inflation, was largely due to a record monthly fall in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks, which fell 1.4%, compared with a sharp rise last year. Fruit prices fell by 4.7%, while bread and cereals dropped by a record 2.6% when compared with March last year.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell to 5.3% from 5.5% in February.

But although lower than their expectations, inflation is still twice the Bank of England's target rate of 2%, and has now been one percentage point or more above target for 16 months.

This has led to calls for the Bank to raise interest rates - the policy tool seen as most effective in combating rising prices.

Last week, the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept rates at a record low of 0.5% for the 25th month in a row.

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