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Inflation Drops Marginally To 17.24% In April

Inflation Drops Marginally To 17.24% In April

The Office for National Statistics said that the rate of unemployment unexpectedly fell to 4.6% in March, beating expectations for it to remain stable at February's reading of 4.7%.

March's unemployment rate of 4.6 per cent was the lowest figure recorded since mid-1975.

He said: "Consumer spending has already slowed, as evidenced by weak retail sales growth in the first quarter of this year, and is expected to suffer further from low wage growth and higher inflation".

Wage growth is lagging behind inflation for the first time since mid-2014, official figures show.

NAIJ.com gathered the development represents the third consecutive month of a decline in the headline CPI rate, indicating some easing in high food and non-food prices.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "With inflation forecast to carry on rising - Bank of England policymakers predict inflation will peak at a little below 3% in the fourth quarter - household budgets look certain to be squeezed further in the coming months".

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The Bank of England's target benchmark for the cost of living, the Consumer Prices Index, rose to 2.7% in April, showing costs rising at their fastest annual pace since September 2013.

Consumers have been forced to tighten their belts since the pound's Brexit-induced fall over the past year pushed up the up the cost of living, the Bank of England said. Price indices for vegetables and pulses fell sharply compared to the year-ago period, leading to a fall in headline inflation rate. "This view was reflected in last week's interest rate decision as well as the Bank's quarterly inflation report". The price of clothes jumped to the highest level for six years, with a rise of 1.1% between March and April.

"With increases in regular pay slowing again, earnings growth is now comfortably trailing behind inflation", said Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce.

With Theresa May's snap election just three weeks away, the figures show the real-term squeeze on millions of workers intensifying as inflation races ahead of average earnings, which are growing at just 2.2% a year.

A survey of its regional agents added that companies were restricting pay rises to the 2.0-2.5 per cent range.

The employment rate hit was 74.8 percent, the highest since records began in 1971.


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