UK inflation soars to 40-year high

Inflation has climbed to its highest level in 40 years after households were hit with higher energy bills.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) jumped to 9% in the 12 months to April 2022, from 7% in March.

This is the highest level of inflation since March 1982, when it stood at 9.1%.

Behind the latest rise was the unprecedented 54% increase in the energy price cap which kicked in at the start of the month. This has resulted in households paying £1,971 per year on average for gas and electricity — an amount that is expected to hit almost £2,600 when the price cap is next adjusted in October.

“Around three-quarters of the increase in the annual rate this month came from utility bills,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

Higher fuel and food prices, driven by the Ukraine war, also contributed to the increase in the cost of living.

Inflation expected to continue to rise, peaking at over 10% later this year, and the Bank of England has warned this could lead to a recession.