April 15 2014.

- Annual CPI inflation in March 2014 was 1.6%, down from 1.7% in February

- The largest contribution to the fall in inflation came from motor fuels, followed by clothing and furniture and household goods

- These were partly offset by upward contributions from restaurants, hotels, alcohol and tobacco

- Goods price inflation in March 2014 was 1.0%, while services inflation was 2.3%

Commenting on the consumer price indices for March 2014, published today by the ONS, David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “The continued fall in inflation is good news, as it contributes to an environment of stability and reduces the case for short-term interest rate rises. We expect inflation to continue falling in the coming months before edging up gradually, but it is unlikely to exceed the 2% target. It is therefore the right approach from the Bank of England to maintain clarity over its forward guidance policy so that businesses can continue to plan ahead and invest.

“Economic growth should receive a further boost shortly when wages increase by more than inflation. But for a secure and lasting recovery, the government should continue to provide further measures in key areas such as improving access to finance for growing firms, and supporting our exports and investment.”