// Inflation rose to 5.4% last month, highest rate since March 1992
// The consumer price index measure of inflation, up from 5.1% in November, was higher than expected
New research has shown that inflation rose to 5.4% last month, its highest rate since March 1992, as Britain’s cost of living squeeze intensified.
The consumer price index (CPI) measure of inflation, up from 5.1% in November, was higher than expected, while strong growth in food as well as increases in furniture and clothing were behind the increase, according to the ONS.
They add to continuing pressure caused by energy bill hikes seen in October, fuel prices that have climbed to record levels, and a spike in demand for used cars.
The inflation data comes after the ONS found that wage rises for UK workers are already being wiped out by the surge in prices.
Further upward pressure on inflation is expected in April when a new energy price cap could see bills for millions of households hiked by 50%.
The surge in the cost of living is putting pressure on the Bank of England to take further action – having already raised interest rates from 0.1% to 0.25% last month.