The latest official inflation figures, released this morning, show that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) fell to 1.6% in March – the lowest level recorded since October 2009. This not only makes it the third consecutive month that UK inflation has fallen below the Bank of England's 2% target, but also means wage increases (averaging 1.7% according to EY Item Club economists) have outstripped the cost of living for the first time in six years.
And, in even better news it means savers can benefit too, as there are now 159 accounts that will beat inflation to give a measurable return for your money.
In order to counter the effects of tax and inflation, a basic rate taxpayer will need to find an account that pays at least 2.00% per annum – and there are 159 of them available across the ISA and non-ISA market, made up of 71 bonds and 88 cash ISAs.
This is a welcome increase of 43 on last month when there were 116 accounts that could counter the effects, and a significant improvement on a year ago when just seven accounts – all of them cash ISAs – could do the same, when inflation held for the second month at 2.8%.
The continued drop in inflation paints a much more positive picture for the nation's savers, although unfortunately rates are still at record low levels – and are still falling. As Sylvia Waycot, editor of Moneyfacts.co.uk points out, the average ISA pays just 1.59%, a drop of 0.06% on last month and considerably less than a year ago when it was 1.82%, with "the negative effects of the recently-withdrawn Funding for Lending Scheme still very much with us and showing no signs of abating."
However, it still pays to make the most of ISAs and of your savings as a whole, and if you're willing to put your money in fixed rate bonds or ISAs you could well achieve the 2.00% needed to generate a measurable return.
Find an inflation-beating savings account
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