Inflation soars to highest level in 30 years as cost of living soars

13 April 2022, 08:18 | Updated: 13 April 2022, 09:07

Inflation soars to highest level in 30 years
Inflation soars to highest level in 30 years. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

The cost of living crisis deepened today as the annual rate of inflation shot up to a 30-year high.

The rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation increased to 7 per cent in March from 6.2 per cent in February, the Office for National Statistics said.

The rise was higher than the 6.7 per cent that analysts had expected due to fuel, restaurant and food prices.

It comes after the UK also recorded uninspiring employment figures and slower GDP growth this week.

Read More: Cost of living crisis: Energy bills set to soar at least 14 times faster than wages

Read More: Cost of living: Emotional caller tells Shadow Chancellor he's 'struggling every day'

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: "Broad-based price rises saw annual inflation increase sharply again in March.

"Amongst the largest increases were petrol costs, with prices mostly collected before the recent cut in fuel duty, and furniture.

"Restaurants and hotel prices also rose steeply in March while, after falling a year ago, there were rises across a number of different types of food.

"The price of goods leaving UK factories has continued to rise substantially with metal and transport products both at record highs and food reaching its highest rate for over a decade. Raw material costs also rose, with a notable increase in the price of crude oil."

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "We're seeing rising costs caused by global pressures in our supply chains and energy markets which could be exacerbated further by Russian aggression in Ukraine.

"I know this is a worrying time for many families, which is why we are taking action to ease the burdens by providing support worth around £22 billion in this financial year, including for the most vulnerable through our Household Support fund.

"We're also helping as many people as possible into work - the best way for families to gain economic security in the longer term."

Labour's Pat McFadden, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, said: "The cost of living is hitting households hard. Not only are energy prices up, the Government is imposing tax rises. And as today's rising inflation figures show, prices on everyday items are up too. Labour has a plan to cut energy bills through a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits."

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation could peak at around 8 per cent in April.