Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inflation Rates Circular

Circular No. NP/071/11/MC

12th April 2011


Dear Colleagues,

Inflation Rates Circular

The March rates of RPI and CPI were published by the Office for National Statistics on the 12th April 2011. The next publication date is the 17th May 2011.

March 2011 retail prices index rate is 5.3%.This is down from 5.5% in February. The Government’s preferred measure of inflation, CPI, is at 4%, down from 4.4% in February.

By far the largest downward pressure to the change in inflation came from food and non-alcoholic beverages where prices, overall, fell by 1.4 per cent between February and March this year compared with a rise of 0.3 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The 1.4 per cent this year was a record fall for a February to March period. The downward effects were widespread and reflected supermarket led sales this year. The most notable contributions came from fruit where prices fell by 4.7 per cent this year (also a record February to March movement) but rose by 0.7 per cent a year ago, and bread and cereals where prices fell by a record 2.6 per cent this year compared with a fall of 0.2 per cent a year ago.
There were also large downward pressures from:

  • recreation and culture, principally from games, toys and hobbies (particularly computer games), recording media and data processing equipment
  • air transport, where fares rose by less than a year ago, particularly on European routes

The largest upward pressures to the change in inflation came from:

  • housing and household services: prices, overall, rose by 0.4 per cent between February and March this year compared with 0.1 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The main upward effect came from domestic heating costs where average electricity and gas bills rose this year but were unchanged a year ago
  • purchase of vehicles, where prices rose this year but fell a year ago, particularly for second-hand cars

In pay submissions the RMT will continue to emphasise that your financial commitments have increased at a much greater rate than inflation and your living standards have suffered as a result.

Yours sincerely,


Bob Crow

General Secretary

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