By Daniel Hunter

The rate of inflation remained unchanged at 2.8% for March, according to official figures, as competing forces on the Consumer Prices Index cancelled each other out.

The Office for National Statistics data, released today (Tuesday) said (CPI) showed “there were a number of effects attempting to push the inflation rate both up and down between February and March but these effects were smaller than in most months and cancelled out overall”.

The largest upward effect came from the recreation & culture sector where prices of audio-visual equipment and books, newspapers & stationery rose.

Offsetting the upward effects, price changes for furniture & furnishings, motor fuels and meat pushed down on the headline rate between February and March.

Average petrol prices rose by 2.2p per litre between February and March compared with a larger 3.3p per litre rise in 2012. Similarly average diesel prices rose by 1.9p per litre in 2013 compared with 2.6p in 2012. Prices of furniture, in particular lounge furniture, also rose by less in 2013 than in 2012.

Finally a range of meat prices fell between February and March this year but rose a year ago. These included beef, chicken breasts and cooked ham.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness