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Developed country inflation falls in March

Annual inflation in the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) area fell to 0.9% in March, according to figures for the month from the OECD Consumer Price index.

Consumer prices in the region rose by 0.9% in the year to March 2009, compared with 1.3% in the year to February. Month-on-month, prices rose by 0.3% in March, following a 0.4% rise the previous month.

Consumer prices for food were up 4.5% in the year to March compared with 4.8% in February. Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose by 1.8% in the year to March, after rising 1.9% in February.

Meanwhile, consumer prices for energy were down by 11.8% over the year to March, following a fall of 8.7% in February.

Looking at geographical regions, consumer prices in Britain rose by 2.9% over the year to March, 1.2% in Italy and Canada, 0.5% in Germany and 0.3% in France.

In the eurozone the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) was up by 0.6% in the year to March, compared with 1.2% in the year to February. Month-on-month, the HICP in the euro area increased by 0.4% in March, unchanged from February. Excluding food and energy, the year-on-year rise in the HICP in the euro area amounted to 1.5% in March, compared with 1.7% in February.

In America, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased by 0.4% over the year to March 2009, the first 12-month decline since August 1955.

In Japan, consumer prices decreased by 0.3% year-on-year in March, compared with 0.1% in the year to February.

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