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Inflation turns negative for the first time in 50 years

The March Retail Price Index dropped into negative figures for the first time in almost 50 years.

The Office of National Statistics has revealed RPI, which includes mortgage payments, fell to -0.4 per cent, the first time it has gone negative since 1960.

The ONS has blamed the slowdown on the large downward pressure from housing with the main effects coming from house depreciation, mortgage interest payments and, to a lesser extent, buildings insurance.

The Consumer Prices Index, which excludes mortgages, fell in March to 2.9 per cent after February’s unexpected rise to 3.2 per cent. This is still well above the Bank of England’s target of 2 per cent.

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