UK inflation rate more than doubles in April 2021 as energy and clothing prices rise

Britain’s rate of inflation more than doubled in April. Credit: PA

The UK's inflation rate more than doubled as gas and electricity prices soared and clothes shops increased their prices.

The Consumer Price Index inflation jumped from 0.7% in march to 1.5% in April - this is the highest level since March last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It comes as energy prices rose as the default tariff cap was increased recently compared with a cut a year earlier.

Clothes retailers also hiked their prices in April as high street shops reopened on April 12.

The rise in oil prices also meant fuel inflation rose at its fastest pace for more than four years.

Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “Inflation rose in April, mainly due to prices rising this year compared with the falls seen at the start of the pandemic this time last year.

“This was seen most clearly in household utility bills and clothing prices.

“As the price of crude oil continues to rise, this has fed through to the cost of motor fuels, which are now at their highest since January 2020.”

As the UK and the rest of the world emerge from the pandemic, there are concerns that inflation could soar this year.

The Bank of England forecast earlier this month that inflation will increase above its 2% target, to 2.4% in the final three months of 2021. This is largely due to energy prices.

But Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said the rise is likely to be temporary and should return to around 2%.