UK Inflation Slows to Weakest Since 2016 Amid Virus Crisis

UK Inflation Slows to Weakest Since 2016 Amid Virus Crisis

Excluding the subsector, wholesale sales rose 2.1 per cent.

Increases in the average general Consumer Price Index (CPI) were attributed to increases in the prices of education (+5.39 per cent), transport (+4,16 per cent) and food products and non-alcoholic drinks (+4.68 per cent).

The UK's inflation rate fell in April to its lowest since August 2016 as the economic fallout of the first month of the lockdown hit prices.

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

Energy prices sank by 23.7% from April 2019.

The average of Canada's three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 1.8 per cent year-over-year.

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The weeks-long lockdown introduced by the United Kingdom government in March is widely expected to lead to a deep slowdown in the United Kingdom economy, and growth in consumer prices is expected to slow further in the short term as a result. People did not go out and did not have money and were expecting government to provide palliatives.

The NBS had reported a 12.26 per cent inflation rate for March 2020. Pressure on the Bank of England to boost the economy and push inflation back to its 2% target is expected to intensify following the price fall.

And in a further sign of the impact of coronavirus on the United Kingdom economy, the ONS said clothing retailers resorted to heavy discounting to try to shift stock amid the lockdown.

"Nevertheless, with the economy likely still underperforming if and when further restrictions are lifted, there will be an underlying drag on inflation that central bankers will need to offset with additional monetary easing", Mendes writes.

Inflation as measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) - an older measure of inflation which the ONS says is inaccurate, but is widely used in bond markets and for other commercial contracts - dropped to 1.5% from 2.6%.

However, core inflation readings provide a more precise estimate of price changes, since they exclude volatile variables such as fossil fuel prices.

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