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Food price rises drive inflation increase

Inflation took a jump in March, according to new data from the Treasury.

The Economic Affairs Division says the Retail Prices Index went from 2.8 per cent to 3.3 per cent over the month. The Consumer Prices Index also rose by the same amount, from 1.4 per cent to 1.9 per cent.

It's third consecutive monthly RPI rise since January, when inflation had reached a three year low.

In a breakdown by category, cigarettes, food and rents saw the biggest inflationary rises.

The detailed figures bring some bad news for shoppers, with a number of staple foods seeing double-digit rises over the past year. The price of beef has gone up 10 per cent, fish 22 per cent, potatoes almost 15 per cent and vegetables by more than 12 per cent.

Rents also saw an inflation-busting rise, going up by 7.6 per cent.

But while energy prices seem to be stable, with just modest increases, there’s some cheer for those who use gas – that’s seen a fall of almost seven per cent since March 2012.

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