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Brief respite as inflation holds steady

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Inflation is expected to hold steady when official figures are released today, with a drop in air fares and falling petrol prices helping keep prices down.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation is expected to come in at 2.3% in March, according to estimates, matching February's figure but up from 1.8% in January.

It marks temporary respite from climbing prices following the post-Brexit collapse of the pound, but economists say that a late Easter is responsible for the pause.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "Easter Sunday fell on March 27 last year, but on April 16 this year. This will affect the path of inflation because plane ticket prices soar close to the holiday."

He said air fares are likely to have plunged in March, contributing to a 0.13 percentage point decline from the headline CPI figure. And a fall in petrol prices is expected to shave off 0.06 percentage point off the rate.

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