UK inflation falls to lowest level in nearly three years as energy prices cool

The prime minister welcomed the news, describing it as a 'major milestone', but will we feel the difference in our pockets? ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports

UK inflation fell to the lowest level in nearly three years in April fuelled by cooling energy prices, according to official figures.

Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation slowed to 2.3% in April, down from 3.2% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It marks the lowest level since July 2021 when inflation was recorded at 2% - the Bank of England's target level.

Grant Fitzner, the ONS's chief economist, said: "There was another large fall in annual inflation led by lower electricity and gas prices, due to the reduction in the Ofgem energy price cap.

"Tobacco prices also helped pull down the rate, with no duty changes announced in the budget.

"Meanwhile, food price inflation saw further falls over the year. These falls were partially offset by a small uptick in petrol prices."

Reacting to the latest inflation figures, a Treasury spokesperson said: "We rightly protected millions of jobs during Covid and paid half of people's energy bills after Putin's invasion of Ukraine sent bills skyrocketing - but it wouldn't be fair to leave future generations to pick up the tab.

Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt acknowledged that people still feel worse off than a few years ago despite the drop in inflation.

“Do people feel better off now than a few years ago? No, because we have had something that you and I have never had in our lifetimes.

“We have had two massive economic shocks in quick succession so no, they don’t feel better than they felt a few years ago.

“The numbers show very clearly that since 2010 over a longer period of time living standards have improved, we have got four million more jobs, we have attracted more investment than anywhere in the world apart from China and the United States.“

But the latest inflation figures are not the time for ministers to be "taking a victory lap", Rachel Reeves said.

In a statement released in response to the latest figures, the shadow chancellor said: "Inflation has fallen, but now is not the time for Conservative ministers to be popping champagne corks and taking a victory lap. "After 14 years of Conservative chaos families are worse off. Prices in the shops have soared, mortgage bills have risen and taxes are at a 70-year high. Rishi Sunak is now putting family finances at risk again with his #46 billion unfunded policy to abolish national insurance that will mean higher borrowing, higher taxes or the end of the state pension as we know it. "It's time for change. Labour's first steps will deliver economic stability so we can grow our economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible."

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