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Cheaper clothes and fuel sees UK inflation fall to 1.5% in March

Shoppers walking past sale sign

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The UK’s inflation rate fell to 1.5% in March, largely driven by falls in the prices of clothing and fuel.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell 1.7% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said that clothing prices dropped as shops offered discounts as footfall fell just before coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced.

Prices of clothes and shoes fell by 1.2% in the year to March 2020.

ONS head of inflation Mike Hardie said: “Clothing prices normally rise between February and March as new year discounting ends.

“However, this year the price of clothes has eased due to some retailers offering discounts due to decreased footfall in stores before the lockdown started.”

He added: “The cost of raw materials for manufacturers fell significantly over the year, driven by a global fall in the price for crude oil, which is at its lowest level since early 2016.”

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