KEVIN Brown, savings specialist at Scottish Friendly, has commented on today’s unexpected inflation news. He said:
“In a surprise twist, inflation rose by 0.3% in February after three months of consecutive falls.
“The expectation was that price rises would drop to single digits in February before continuing to fall over the remainder of 2023. But this latest spike will cast doubt over the OBR’s prediction that inflation will reach 2.9% at the end of the year.
“The Chancellor has been equally bullish about the prospect for inflation, but this unexpected rise will dent some of that recent optimism. It also presents a cruel blow for households who may have started to think that price rises were beginning to soften.
“The biggest increases in the headline rate of inflation have come from restaurants and hotels, as well as food and non-alcoholic beverages, which rose by a staggering 16.8% over the past 12 months. This is the highest jump for over 45 years and will be incredibly difficult for many households to swallow.
“Some may have started to think about loosening the purse strings ever so slightly, but families will have to continue to carefully monitor their spending, while their ability to save or invest will also be impacted.
“Consumers will be desperately hoping this is only a bump in the road and that inflation will carry on falling once again from March.”