The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced that inflation has fallen by 1.7% from its peak at 5.6% in September 2011.

The announcement adds to the case against the planned 5.6% increase in business rates, which is due to come in this April. The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is calling for the Chancellor to cap this rates increase in line with the government’s 2% inflation target.

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said: “These ONS figures show that £350m business rates hike is excessive. Inflation has already fallen by nearly a third from the September peak of 5.6%. It’s time for the Chancellor to act to support businesses.

“Capping business rates at 2% in line with the government’s own inflation target will provide businesses with relief from a spike in inflation, certainty on future rates and the confidence to maintain jobs and growth.”

The campaign to cap business rates at 2% is supported by ACS, the British Council of Shopping Centre, the British Independent Retailers Association and the Forum for Private Business.