Inflation soars to near-decade high at 4.2% as energy and fuel costs rise

Rising inflation is hurting the budgets of all those who are not seeing their income increase at the same speed, ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports

UK inflation has jumped to a near-decade high as soaring energy and fuel prices pushed up the cost of living, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose sharply from 3.1% in September to 4.2% last month – the highest level since December 2011.

It comes after gas and electricity prices have surged, with regulator Ofgem last month increasing the energy price cap by 12%.

Prices on forecourts have also raced higher, with the fuel shortage in late September and early October sending petrol and diesel spiking higher amid wider ongoing rises in the global cost of oil.

The ONS said average petrol prices hit their highest since September 2012, at 138.6 pence per litre in October compared with 113.2 pence per litre a year earlier.

Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “Inflation rose steeply in October to its highest rate in nearly a decade.

What does the Bank of England think about rising inflation and how does it plan to deal with it? ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports

“This was driven by increased household energy bills due to the price cap hike, a rise in the cost of second-hand cars and fuel as well as higher prices in restaurants and hotels.

“Costs of goods produced by factories and the price of raw materials have also risen substantially and are now at their highest rates for at least 10 years.”

The Bank of England warned earlier this month that inflation will rocket to its highest level for 10 years.

It is forecasting CPI will reach 4.5% in November and hit around 5% next April, the highest level since 2011.

The Bank of England had warned of the rise. Credit: PA

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Many countries are experiencing higher inflation as we recover from Covid and we know people are facing pressures with the cost of living, which is why we are taking action worth more than £4.2 billion to help them.

“We’re helping people get into work, progress and keep more of what they earn, through our Plan for Jobs and by effectively cutting taxes for workers receiving Universal Credit.

“We are also providing more immediate support, including through the £500 million Household Support Fund for the most vulnerable families, fuel and alcohol duty freezes, and the energy price cap.”