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By Jamie Satchithanantham and Laurie Laird
     LONDON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the ONS' prices data
release published Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.
     - Inflation continues to fall quicker than expected to an annual rate of
2.5%, but the Bank of England is still on course to lift interest rates as early
as next month. The IMF appeared to endorse a course of tightening in its latest
World Economic Outlook, released Tuesday.
     - Surprisingly, Easter had little effect on March inflation which was
pulled lower by women's apparel, as sterling-linked price increases in 2017 fell
out of annual comparisons. Alcohol and tobacco duties, which historically appear
in a March budget, did not materialise this year and so also dragged given a
high base.
     - Output price inflation fell to its lowest level since October 2016 but
input price inflation ticked higher on a rise in crude oil prices.
     - With the plunge in sterling after the Brexit vote falling out of y/y
comparisons, oil prices resumed their role as the most volatile component of
price measures. That means core consumer price inflation, which slipped to its
lowest level since March 2017, may become the most accurate guide to underlying
inflation.
     - House price inflation continued to ebb while London prices fell by an
annual rate of 1.0% in February -- the biggest fall since September 2009.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: jamie.satchithanantham@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MABDS$,MAUDR$,MAUDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$,M$U$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com