Energy prices to rise?

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The cost of living is expected to rise during the next 12 months, it has been claimed.

According to Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Consumer Barometer for March, consumers are also expecting interest rates to rise.

The financial services provider claimed the consumer price index will increase for the first time in 12 months.

Lloyds surveyed 2,000 consumers this month and found that 51 per cent expect the price of things like electricity, gas and food to go up over the course of the year.

The number of people predicting rising costs grew from 48 per cent in February.

Chief economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Trevor Williams said: "It is not surprising that consumers still feel prices will rise. For many the cost of living, such as food and rail fares, remains stubbornly high; particularly as pay rises are minimal this year."

Meanwhile, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has predicted that the UK economy will contract by 3.7 per cent this year.

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