UK inflation hits 40-year high in April as energy and fuel costs continue to rise

Graeme Paterson

18-May-2022

LONDON (ICIS)–UK inflation rose to a 40-year-high in April as energy and fuel costs continued to rise, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday.

April’s 9% rise in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which excludes housing costs, is the highest level since 1982, based on indicative ONS modelling for earlier periods which pre-date its current CPI series.

The rise in April was up from 7% in March.

UK households have faced higher energy, food and petrol costs as crude oil and gas prices have continued to rise, partly driven by the war in Ukraine.

Also on 1 April, the UK government’s energy regulator Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) raised the price cap which limits the price energy suppliers can charge consumers.

In the transport sector, costs rose as petrol prices were driven up by higher crude oil values.

“Average petrol prices stood at 161.8 pence per litre in April 2022, compared with 125.5 pence per litre a year earlier. The April 2022 price is the highest recorded,” the ONS said in a statement.

The Bank of England raised its key interest rate on 5 May to the highest level in more than a decade in a bid to curb escalating inflation levels.

UK Q1 GDP data from the ONS on 12 May showed 0.8% growth for the quarter but contracted in March as consumer spending slowed due to a surge in living costs.

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