UK inflation hits 40-year high

Business Wednesday 18/May/2022 15:59 PM
UK inflation hits 40-year high

London: Britain’s inflation rate rose to the highest level in 40 years last month as Russia’s war in Ukraine fuelled further increases in food and fuel prices.

Consumer price inflation accelerated to 9 per cent  in the 12 months through April 2022, up from 7 per cent  the previous month, the UK Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday. That is the highest rate since 1982, when inflation reached 11per cent , according to statistical modeling by the agency.

The figures will increase pressure on the government to mitigate a cost-of-living crisis that economists forecast will produce the biggest drop in living standards since the 1950s.

Millions of households across Britain were hit with a 54 per cent  jump in gas and electricity bills last month after regulators boosted the energy price cap to reflect increases in wholesale prices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put further pressure on food and energy prices.

The government may cut income taxes and is drawing up plans to boost subsidies for low-income people struggling to pay fuel bills, British media reported today. It is also considering a tax on windfall profits of energy companies benefiting from high oil and gas prices.

Inflation is soaring worldwide, with the United States (US) reporting a near four-decade high rate of 8.3 per cent last month. The 19 countries that use the euro have seen inflation records for months, but the European Union’s statistics agency on Wednesday revised down its initial 7.5 per cent figure for April to 7.4 per cent. That keeps the annual rate steady with March, Eurostat said.