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UK inflation rate falls to 0.3%


The UK's inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell to 0.3% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The fall, from March's rate of 0.5%, is the first since September.
Falls in air fares and prices for clothing, vehicles and social housing rent were the main reasons for the drop in the rate, the ONS said.
The Bank of England said last week that it expected inflation to increase in the second half of the year.
By far the largest downward effect came from air transport, with prices falling by 14.2%, compared with a rise of 4.5% between the same two months last year.
This was influenced by the timing of the Easter holiday, which contributed to a large increase in fares between February and March 2016, which then fell away in April 2016.
The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted last week to keep interest rates unchanged at a record seven-year low of 0.5%. The Bank is not expected to raise rates until at least next year.
In a separate report, the ONS said that there was a surge in house prices as landlords rushed to buy before higher stamp duty was imposed.
UK average house prices increased by 9.0% over the year to March 2016, up from 7.6% in the year to February 2016.