UK inflation eases in March along with furniture prices

Furniture prices fell in March as overall inflation eased to its lowest rate for nearly two and half years for a second consecutive month.

According to the latest Office for National for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 3.2% in the 12 months to March 2024, down from 3.4% in February. On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.6% in March 2024, compared with a rise of 0.8% in March 2023.

Furniture and furnishing prices fell by 2.3% in March, down from a decline of 1.6% in February, while down from a 9.2% rise compared to the same month last year.

The retail price of household furniture decreased by 2.4% in the month, down from a fall of 1.6%, while down from 9.6% last year.

Garden furniture prices fell 0.7%, down from 0.1% on last month and down from 9.8% compared to last year.

Carpets and other floorcoverings prices rose 2.5%, up from of 1.7% the previous month, while lower than the 10.3% rise last year.

Other household textile prices, including furnishings fabrics, curtains and bedding, saw prices rise by 1.9%, down from 2.5% the previous month, while down from 2.6% on last year.

Meanwhile, Producer Price Inflation (PPI) saw the rate of furniture output prices, factory gate, rise 3.3% in March on the same month in the previous year. The rate was lower than the rise of 3.8% in February. Furniture input prices, material cost of production, were down -1.4% in March on the same month last year, while up from a decline of -1.1% the previous month.

Producer input prices fell by 2.5% in the year to March 2024, down from a revised fall of 2.2% in the year to February 2024. Producer output (factory gate) prices rose by 0.6% in the year to March 2024, up from a rise of 0.4% in the year to February 2024. On a monthly basis, producer input prices fell by 0.1% but output prices rose by 0.2% in March 2024.

Commenting on March’s inflation figures, ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Inflation eased slightly in March to its lowest annual rate for two and a half years.

“Once again, food prices were the main reason for the fall, with prices rising by less than we saw a year ago. Similarly to last month, we saw a partial offset from rising fuel prices.”

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