Rising energy prices push UK inflation to its 40-year high

Rising energy prices have pushed UK inflation to its highest level in 40 years, putting financial pressure on millions of UK households.

Inflation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen to 9% in the 12 months to April, up from the already high 7% in March, the National Bureau of Statistics (ONS) said Wednesday.

On a monthly basis, the CPI was up 2.5% in April 2022, compared to a 0.6% increase in April 2021.

This is the fastest measurement rate since the record began in 1989, and ONS estimates it to be the highest since 1982.

Grant Fitzner, Chief Economist at ONS, said: About three-quarters of this month’s annual increase was due to utility bills. “

He quoted newly published past estimates as an indication that CPI’s annual inflation rate was “last high 40 years ago.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak commented on the new data, saying rising inflation is a problem for many countries around the world.

“Today’s inflation rate is caused by the rise in energy price caps in April, which is caused by the rise in global energy prices,” he added. , And are ready to take further action. “

Rachel Reeves, the Labor Party’s shadow minister of finance, said the news was “a big concern for an already expanding family.”

She said the Labor Party “can’t wait any longer for action from this unruly government,” and instead “forces a vote on urgent budgets and growth plans.”

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has warned that rising inflation could cause a recession.

“The scale at which inflation is damaging key drivers of UK production, including consumer spending and corporate investment, is unprecedented, and the UK is likely to be in recession by the third quarter of this year. That means, “said BCC Director of Economic Affairs. Slen Till.

Free market think tank Economic Research Institute The (IEA) also said the soaring cost of living was “extremely worried” and called on both the government and the Bank of England, the central bank of the United Kingdom, to take action.

“Monetary policy has been too loose for too long,” said Julian Jessop, an IEA economic fellow. “Inflation rates in some sectors have been offset by lower inflation rates in others.” So, we should continue to curb financial growth. “

He also urged the government to intervene to “protect the most vulnerable people.” “Consumer confidence is also so vulnerable that it could be too risky to delay the announcement of additional support until the fall,” he said.

“Effective packages need to include a combination of measures to increase benefits, reduce taxes and lower energy prices, and are primarily targeted at low-income households,” he said.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan