UK inflation climbs to 3.4%

The Consumer Prices Index, the government’s target measure of inflation, rose from 3% in February to 3.4% in March.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows housing and household services were slightly higher in February and March but fell a year ago.

Gas bills were one of the main drivers for higher costs, as although average bills were unchanged between February and March this year but were lower a year ago.

Inflation was also driven by movements in petrol and diesel prices, air fares, food and non-alcoholic drinks and clothing and footwear.

But prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance rose by less than a year ago.

The Retail Prices Index, which includes mortgage payments, stood at 4.4% in the year to March, up form 3.7% in February.

Mortgage payments rose by 0.7% this year but fell 6.3% a year ago.

RPIX inflation, which measures the same items as the RPI but strips out mortgage payments, rose from 4.2% in February to 4.8% in March.

UK inflation was above that of the European Union in February, with an inflation rate of 3% compared to the 1.4% for the EU as a whole.