The latest official inflation figures show that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) remained at its record low of 0.0% in March. Unchanged from February, it marks the 16th consecutive month of remaining at or below the Bank of England's 2.00% target, and means that the cost of living is the same as it was a year ago.
Economists had widely expected the rate to fall into deflation, so the fact that it's remained static will be welcome news for many. It's great news for savers, too, as once again it means that all savings accounts on the market will beat it!
That's right – all 874 accounts on the market pay a rate that will beat inflation, and out of these, 681 are restriction-free and open to everyone (i.e. they're not only available to local residents, high net worth individuals, or those with a linked product). This figure is made up of 149 no notice accounts, 79 notice versions, 243 fixed rate bonds and 210 cash ISAs – more than last month thanks to ISA season ramping up the product count – so there are plenty of options for those seeking inflation-beating returns.
It's easier than ever to secure an inflation-beating profit that won't see the value of your money eroded, and hopefully, consumers will be feeling like they have a whole lot more money in their pockets. But it isn't all good news – the value of your savings may be upheld, but if you're looking for a decent return, it still isn't that easy.
Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, commented: "The low rate of inflation means that it is the everyday consumer who will find their cash going further than before, which will make a big difference to those who carefully budget their day-to-day spending.
"Savings rates, on the other hand, are still at appalling lows, [and] with inflation at its current level there will be no desire for the Bank of England to raise interest rates any time soon. Low returns will hit those reliant on monthly interest to supplement their income hard, and a general lack of saving incentives could mean that consumers decide to spend their cash instead.
"With many people's money languishing in poor accounts it's never been more important to shop around for a better deal. A staggering 146 savings accounts on the market pay 0.5% or less, but consumers can easily get over twice this amount on a best buy easy access account."
The message, then, is clear – do your research! It may be easy to secure an inflation-beating deal, but if you want to make real returns, you still need to find the best rates possible. Check out our best buys to find the accounts that will far outweigh inflation, and don't forget to make the most of your new tax allowance, too!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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