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Unemployment falls to 10-year low as job vacancies soar

Unemployment falls to 10-year low as job vacancies soar

Clothing and footwear price tags were also on the rise last month, climbing by 2% between February and March in contrast to a 1% climb a year ago.

With wages growing at the same rate or slightly slower than prices in the shops, many United Kingdom households are facing the prospect of a renewed squeeze on their incomes after a respite when inflation dipped to zero in 2015 and remained low previous year.

"The easing in the rate is mainly due to declines in non food especially for transport and health", he said.

"Reflation is close to a turning point", Larry Hu, head of China economics at Macquarie Securities Ltd., told Bloomberg.

The consumer price inflation bulletin out today shows the inflation rate was unchanged from February to March - holding at the highest level since September 2013.

Food, alcohol and tobacco, clothing and footwear, miscellaneous goods and services prices went up.

Overall output prices rose by 3.6 per cent, also a touch weaker than in February but above a forecast of 3.3 per cent in the Reuters poll.

"The recent spike in the proportion of retailers that say they will increase prices over the next three months suggests that the MPC will continue to be surprised by how quickly higher import prices feed through to consumers". The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.75% and urban area 3.88% in March 2017 as against 3.67% and 3.55% in February 2017.

Ian Kernohan, economist at Royal London, argues, however, that sterling's fall last year is still having an impact on the inflation figures, and also that a late Easter will push some April prices up compared with last year. Meanwhile, mining input prices gained +3.7% y/y in March, compared with a +36.1% y/y rally in the prior month.

The government targets around 3 percent inflation for the whole year of 2017 and inflation is still a far below the government's target range. Year-over-year growth in wages excluding bonuses fell to 1.9 per cent, from 2.2 per cent, dragging down the ex-bonus headline rate to 2.2 per cent, from 2.4 per cent.

Core inflation figures, which strip out volatile goods like oil and food, actually fell, dropping from 2.0% in February, to 1.8% in March.

The figures highlight a potential drag on the U.K.'s economic growth just as it begins to negotiate its exit from the European Union, expected to last at least two years.

Nina Skero, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), said households will increasingly feel the pinch as wage growth struggles to keep pace with inflation.

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