Commenting on the consumer price inflation figures for March, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: 

“These figures were much better than expected, despite the continued sharp increases in global oil and commodity prices. The fall in inflation points to sharp competitive pressures in the high street, and confirms our assessment that businesses are unable to increase prices while disposable incomes are being squeezed.  

“We cannot afford to be complacent, as inflation is still double the Government’s target of two per cent. But this improvement supports the case for the MPC to postpone interest rate increases until the recovery is more secure and the deficit-cutting measures have been absorbed. There is now a realistic hope that the MPC will be persuaded not to raise interest rates in May.”