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Inflation: Figures could matter more than most

Inflation figures due out at 9:30 Photo: Press Association

As ever, when the inflation figures emerge at 9.30 on the do this morning they will be studied carefully. With energy bills about to rise again and food prices under pressure today's statistics could turn out to be the low point if inflation goes up again.

But every year September's inflation has a special significance. The CPI figure is now used to calculate the level of increases to pensions and benefits. If it is below 2.5% then the government will put pensions up by that amount anyway as part of the so-called 'triple lock' to guarantee payments to the elderly keep pace.

September's RPI, normally the higher rate of increase, is used to calculate the increase to business rates. Given many firms have really struggled with last year's hefty increase of 5.6%, there have already been calls to freeze the rates this year. At a time when getting the economy going stumps so many policy makers and politicians, another tax rise is a cost many companies just don't need.

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