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Energy and food costs push up OECD inflation

Inflation increased by an average 2.7% across the countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the year to March 2012.

The cost of living fell by just 0.1% from the year 12 months ending February 2012.

The annual rate of inflation eased as the rate of increasing energy and food costs slowed to 6.5% and 3.5% in the year to March, compared with 7.9% and 3.8% in the year to February.

The country with the steepest drop in annual inflation was Canada, returning 1.9% in March, down from 2.6% in February.

Inflation was also down in Germany, from 2.3% in February to 2.1% in March, and the United States, down to 2.7% from 2.9%.

France was stable at 2.3%, as was Italy at 3.3%.

The annual cost of living was up to 0.5% from 0.3% in Japan and to 3.5% from 3.45 in Britain.

Eurozone annual inflation was stable at 2.7% in March.

Around the world, annual inflation slowed to 5.2%, down from 5.8% in Brazil, and from 6.3% to 6.1% in South Africa.

The cost of living remained stable in the Russian Federation at 3.7%.

India experienced a large increase in annual inflation – from 7.6% in February to 8.6% in March. Other places with rises included China up to 3.6% from 3.2% and Indonesia to 4.0% from 3.6%.

Compared to February, the cost of living across the OECD increased by 0.6% in March 2012 – up 0.8% in France and the United States, 0.5% in Italy and Japan, 0.4% in Canada, and 0.3% in Germany and Britain.

The OECD has 34 member countries representing the most developed and key emerging economies in the world.

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