UK slips into deflation for the first time since 1960

The price of food, alcohol and clothing was cheaper last month than it would have been a year ago

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The Independent Online

Britain has slipped into deflationary territory for the first in more than 50 years.

The Consumer Price Index - the official measure of inflation - fell by 0.1% in the year to April 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics. The measure stood at 0% in March.

This means that the price of food, alcohol and clothing was cheaper last month than it would have been a year ago.

It's the first negative reading of the CPI since 1960.

Food and fuel prices dropped below zero in March

Downward pressure came from falling costs of travel, particularly air and sea transport because Easter fell slightly earlier in March this year.

A problem could arise, however, if savvy shoppers decide to put off spending believing prices will drop further, sending the economy into a negative spiral.

So far there is little evidence to suggest that consumers are delaying purchases and Bank of England policymakers, who have an inflation target of 2%, have said the central bank has the tools at its disposal to address the issue if needed.

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