UK inflation jumps to 6.2 pct, highest since 1992: data
British inflation accelerated in February to hold at a near three-decade peak on soaring energy prices, official data showed yesterday.
The annual rate jumped to 6.2 percent last month from 5.5 percent in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
The last time the rate was higher was in March 1992 when it had stood at 7.1 percent.
Spiking domestic electricity and gas costs were a key factor in February’s broad-based price gains, according to the ONS.
“Inflation rose steeply in February as prices increased for a wide range of goods and services, for products as diverse as food to toys and games,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner. “Clothing and footwear saw a return to traditional February price rises after last year’s falls when many shops were closed.”
Economies worldwide are battling decades-high inflation, which has forced central banks including the Bank of England to lift interest rates.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, yesterday hinted at cutting motor fuel duty.
In his budget announcement before Parliament, Britain’s Treasury chief pledged to “stand by hard-working families” and to help with the rising cost of living.
Utility bills are set to rise by more than 50 percent in April, on top of a planned income tax increase and an acceleration of consumer prices for everything from fuel to food at the fastest pace in decades.
Economists now estimate inflation will peak at close to 9 percent this year as the war in Ukraine boosts food and energy prices. That’s double the 4.4 percent forecast government advisers made in October.