Record jump in UK inflation as food prices rise

Price rises in the UK have shown the biggest increase in more than 20 years, official figures show.

The consumer prices index, which measures the cost of a typical “shopping basket” of goods and services, rose from 2% in July to 3.2% in August.

Higher prices for food, petrol and used cars were all behind the spike in inflation, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Restaurant prices rose in comparison to last year due to the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, which offered a 50% discount on meals up to £10 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August 2020.

Also driving food price inflation last month were shortages of supply chain staff and increased shipping costs, coupled with demand increases following the lifting of national lockdowns.

In July, lower clothing and footwear prices contributed to a smaller rise in the cost of living.

“August saw the largest rise in annual inflation month-on-month since the series was introduced almost a quarter of a century ago,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS.

“However, much of this is likely to be temporary as last year restaurant and cafe prices fell substantially due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, while this year prices rose.”