UK Falls Into Deflation for First Time in 50 Years

Published April 21, 2009

| Associated Press

Britain's statistics office says the country's retail price index is falling for the first time in nearly fifty years.

In its monthly update of price pressures in the economy, the Office for National Statistics says the broad measure of inflation fell 0.4 percent in the year to March, compared with a flat reading for February. March's decline is the first since March 1960.

The decline was expected by most economists as the measure incorporates mortgage interest payments, which have fallen heavily in recent months as the Bank of England has slashed interest rates to get the British economy back on track.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index, which is the Bank of England's target measure, was up 2.9 percent in the year to March, down from 3.2 percent in February.

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