UK inflation hits 40-year high of 9% as cost of food and energy rockets

UK inflation hits 40-year high of 9% as cost of food and energy rockets

Spiralling inflation, fuelled by rising petrol and food prices, is hitting the pockets of UK households with the invasion of Ukraine being blamed for rising oil prices

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Inflation set to hit all-time high as energy bills soared in April

UK inflation has surged to its highest level in 40 years as the cost of living crisis continues to batter UK households.

The consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 9% in the 12 months to April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is up from 7% in the previous month and the highest inflation has been since 1982. The Bank of England has predicted that CPI could rise above 10% this year.

Inflation is a figure used to explain how much the prices of everyday essentials have increased and its rise is another stark reminder of the difficulties normal Brits up and down the country are facing.

Last month’s rise in inflation was driven by an unprecedented surge in energy bills as the Ofgem price cap rose by an eye-watering £693 for someone on a standard variable rate.

Fuel prices rocketed in recent months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
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Image:

PA)

And it is thought that will contribute to this month’s rise too.

Prices across the economy have been rising with the biggest increase coming at the petrol pump after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affected the global oil price.

Economists warned of today’s announcement, which comes a fortnight after the Bank of England raised interest rates and warned the country it could be heading for a recession.

Are you worried about rising inflation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told Sky News: “We are in a very very difficult economic situation.”

Blaming Covid and the Ukraine war she added: “There’s no doubt it is very difficult for people across Britain and in fact across the world.”

But she rebuffed growing calls within government for a windfall tax on energy giants which Rishi Sunak did not rule out yesterday.

“My view is lower taxes are the best way to attract more investment,” she said.

UK Inflation
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Image:

Office For National Statistics)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Countries around the world are dealing with rising inflation. Today’s inflation numbers are driven by the energy price cap rise in April, which in turn is driven by higher global energy prices.

“We cannot protect people completely from these global challenges but are providing significant support where we can, and stand ready to take further action.”

Chief economist at Panmure Gordon, Simon French, previously said he “wouldn’t at all be surprised” if the rate of inflation reaches 9% this week.

He said the latest figures will be influenced largely by the recent surge in household energy bills.

“There will be a big jump because the April price cap is captured within it,” he added.

The Government has come under fire for failing to do enough to help ease the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Alongside that, it pressed ahead with deeply unpopular tax rises.

This all comes as the M&S chairman, Archie Norman, said that food prices could soar by as much as 10% this year.

The former Tory MP who leads the upmarket giant warned Brits who face another battering.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It wouldn’t be surprising to see food price inflation over the course of the year running towards 8% to 10%.

“But we don’t know that yet because it runs through the year, some has gone through now but quite a lot’s still to come.”

The government has come under fire for not doing enough to help ease the impact of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis
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Image:

Getty Images)

What is inflation?

The CPI measure of inflation shows how much the price of goods and services has risen or fallen over time.

For example, if something that cost £1 a year ago now costs £1.02 today, that rate of inflation would be 2%.

The rate of inflation is published each month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This measures how much prices have changed on average over the past 12 months.

So for the latest inflation announcement from the ONS, this covers price changes from April 2021 until April 2022.

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