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UK inflation rate falls to 0% as low oil price feeds through

UK inflation rate falls to 0% as low oil price feeds through

The rate of inflation in the UK fell to 0 per cent in February from 0.3 in January, dragged down by food and alcohol prices as well as transport.

The consumer prices index (CPI) reading for February was exactly the same as in February 2014.

A comparative drop in the price of food and alcohol contributed 37 basis points to the drop in the CPI, while transport costs dragged it down by 41 basis points.

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The oil-induced falls, however, were largely offset by increases in other areas, meaning the UK economy avoided deflation last month.

Ben Brettell, senior economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the 0 per cent figure was below consensus expectations of a 0.1 per cent rise in inflation and was the lowest rate of inflation since records began in 1997.

Mr Brettel said the “majority of the fall in inflation can be explained by falling motor fuel prices and food prices”, adding these should prove temporary.

But he said: “It looks likely the [CPI] rate will drop below zero at some point in the coming months, and hover around zero for most of the year.”