// Prices are rising at their fastest rate as The Consumer Prices Index rose by 9% in the 12 months to April 2022 – up from 7% in March
// Clothing and footwear prices rose 8.3%, down from 9.8% in March
UK inflation, the rate at which prices are rising, jumped to 9% in the 12 months to April, up from 7% in March – the highest level for 40 years.
The surge came as millions of people saw energy bills rise by £700-a-year, piling even more pressure on consumers.
Higher fuel and food prices, driven by the Ukraine war, are also pushing the cost of living up, with inflation expected to continue to rise this year.
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The Office for National Statistics estimated that CPI would last have been higher sometime around 1982, when comparative inflation ranged between 6.5% in December to nearly 11% in January.
Prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels soared by 19.2% in April, up from 7.7% in March, as a result of the rise in the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) cap on energy prices, which changed on 1 April 2022.
However, clothing and footwear prices rose 8.3%, down from 9.8% in March.
British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson aid: “Inflationary pressures continue to impact businesses, as well as households, with soaring energy prices further driving up the CPI. These higher energy prices, along with a tight labour market, and the huge costs of moving goods around, are impacting all retailers.
“The Bank of England now expects inflation to top 10% by the end of the year, as many of the rising costs filter down into prices. Retailers are doing their bit to protect consumers by expanding their value ranges and doing all they can to keep the price of essentials down.”
Earlier this week, M&S Chairman Archie Norman warned that food prices could rise by as much as 10% this year.
Norman said grocers have had to pass some cost inflation onto customers but said spending has been bolstered by customers’ savings built up during the pandemic.
“What’s happening is global prices are rising, it’s not to do with UK food so much as the effect of freight costs, wheat prices, oil and energy prices knocking onto almost everything,” he said.