UK inflation surged to a new 30-year high last month as prices rose and the cost of living crisis worsened.
Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 6.2% in February, the highest level since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It was a higher rise than expected which came after prices climbed across food, clothing and footwear, and a range of other products and services.
Inflation is the rate of increase in prices for goods and services. If a loaf of bread costing £1 rises in price by 5p, the bread inflation is 5%. The pressure is piling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to offer more support to struggling households as he prepares to deliver his spring statement on Wednesday.
The 'mini-budget' may see Mr Sunak look to ease the burden on taxpayers by cutting fuel duty and raising the income threshold at which people begin to pay national insurance, it has been suggested.
The ONS said inflation rose across 10 out of the 12 categories that feed into the index, with only communication and education not seeing increases.
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It comes after the Bank of England last week raised interest rates once again, to 0.75% from 0.5%, and warned inflation will now peak at around 8% in April – and could hit double-digits if wholesale energy prices continue to soar amid the Ukraine war.
April will see Ofgem hike the energy price cap by 54%, and the impact of Ukraine means a further increase is expected in October, possibly by as much as another 50%.
Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said inflation had risen steeply as prices increased for a wide range of products including food, toys, and games.
He added furniture and flooring had also contributed to the rise as prices started to recover after new year sales.
“The price of goods leaving UK factories has also been rising substantially and is now at its highest rate for 14 years", Mr Fitzner added.
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