Mar 24, 8:51 AM EDT

Britain's inflation rate falls to zero as food prices fall


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LONDON (AP) -- Official data says Britain's inflation rate fell to zero last month, setting the stage for a period of falling prices first time in half a century.

The Office of National Statistics said Tuesday the inflation rate was unchanged in the year to February, compared to a 0.3 percent rise in January, amid drops in the cost of food.

The agency says an experimental model created by the ONS suggests the last time inflation was negative was in March 1960.

The drop came just days after Bank of England economist Andy Haldane suggested interest rates - now at a record low of 0.5 percent - were as likely to fall as to rise.

Deflation concerns economists because consumers may start to put off purchases in hopes that prices will drop.

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