LONDON – Official figures show that inflation in Britain unexpectedly held steady in March, with economists suggesting that Brexit uncertainty prompted retailers to keep prices lower than would otherwise have been the case.
The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that consumer prices were up 1.9 percent in the year to March. Most economists had expected inflation to rise slightly to 2 percent, which is the Bank of England's target rate.
The figures suggest that rising uncertainty related to Britain's exit from the European Union during the month may have contributed to the slightly lower outcome. Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29 but it was postponed as Parliament failed to back Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal. Britain now has a new Oct. 31 deadline.