UK inflation falls to 3.2% in March, but NTIA sceptical of industry recovery

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UK inflation slowed less than expected last month and fell below the US for the first time in two years, but the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) believes that it merely shows a slowing in price increases.

Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 3.2% in March, down from 3.4% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figure was slightly higher than the 3.1% previously forecast by economists and was above the Bank of England’s 2% target.

It also marked the lowest UK inflation rate since 2021. Driven by a fall in food prices, it was also lower than the rate of price growth in the US for the first time since March 2022.

While commending the slow in inflation, NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said it is imperative to acknowledge that the decrease “merely signifies a deceleration in price hikes, rather than a genuine alleviation of the burdens faced by businesses”.

“Despite this statistical dip, the reality ‘at the coal face’ remains unchanged – operating costs continue to suffocate our industry,” Kill said.

“It’s crucial for the government to recognise that the path to recovery demands more than mere patience; it necessitates decisive fiscal action.”

Kill has reiterated the NTIA’s call on the government to implement a VAT cut to 12.5% in a move that he claims would help revitalise the UK’s night time industries.

“Such a measure would inject much-needed relief into our struggling sector, enabling businesses to not only survive but thrive amidst these challenging times,” said Kill.

“Ignoring this imperative could risk prolonging the economic hardship faced by countless establishments within the night time industries. We implore policymakers to act swiftly and decisively in support of our industry’s recovery.”

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