Inflation Falls As Food Prices Ease Further

Inflation fell to its lowest level in two and a half years in March after a further easing in food prices, official figures showed Wednesday, a development which may bring cut in interest rates soon.

Consumer prices rose by 3.2% in the year to March, down from 3.4% in February, the Office for National Statistics said. That’s the lowest level since September 2021, with food prices were the main reason for the fall, with prices rising by less against last year with the prices of bakery products including chocolate biscuits and crumpets falling. However, this was offset by rising fuel prices and persistently high inflation in services prices.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said that the inflation decline “merely Signifies a deceleration in operator costs and price hikes”, Michael Kill CEO NTIA Says “It’s very hard to do anything but commend the slow in inflation with the recent report indicating a slight decline in inflation figures, now resting at 3.2%. However, it’s imperative to acknowledge that this decrease merely signifies a deceleration in price hikes, rather than a genuine alleviation of the burdens faced by businesses at the operational level. Despite this statistical dip, the reality ‘at the coal face’ remains unchanged – operating costs continue to suffocate our industry.”

“It’s crucial for the government to recognise that the path to recovery demands more than mere patience; it necessitates decisive fiscal action. Before the impending election announcement, we urge the government to address this pressing issue through a targeted intervention, particularly in the form of a VAT cut. Such a measure would inject much-needed relief into our struggling sector, enabling businesses to not only survive but thrive amidst these challenging times. Ignoring this imperative could risk prolonging the economic hardship faced by countless establishments within the Night Time Industries. We implore policymakers to act swiftly and decisively in support of our industry’s recovery.”

Sam Martin, CEO of Peckwater Brands, said: “All entrepreneurs will welcome today’s drop with open arms. Businesses have been grappling with rising costs for too long and a more stable economic environment means a better playing field for startups.

“Nothing about the past two years has been easy for UK startups – the high-inflation, high-interest landscape has led to decreased consumer activity, stagnant investment, and a general lack of momentum across almost all sectors. Every time I hear inflation has fallen even a fraction of a percent, it’s music to my ears.

“In order for British businesses to innovate and expand their ventures, we need greater investment into startups and into scaling our enterprises, and inflation falling should be conducive to increasing investor interest in our best and brightest – especially if that decline is coupled with falling interest rates in the near future.”