*The Consumer Price Index measure of inflation rose 0.1% to 3.5% for the year to March 2012. *
Food price rises, the cost of clothing and a sharp increase in the cost of cultural activities were to blame.
Downward pressures from fuel costs such gas and electricity ensured a severe rise in CPI did not materialise.
Transport prices increased 0.8% with the largest upward effect coming from a 2.2% increase in fuels and lubricants.
Elsewhere, clothing & footwear were up between February and March but this was 2.2% – a record monthly movement for the February to March period. This has been attributed to the rising cost of women’s fashion.
CPI measures inflation including the costs of mortgage interest and council tax whereas the Retail Price Index – or RPI – does not include these costs.
RPI annual inflation was down for the year to March at 3.6%, compared to 3.7% in February.
This downward pressure resulted from motoring expenditure and fuel and lighting costs.