UK inflation hits new 40-year high

UK inflation has hit a new peak reaching 9.4% in June.

The figure is up from 9.1% in May and at the highest level since February 1982, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Rising prices for motor fuels and food made the biggest upward contributions to the inflation rate as petrol and diesel prices hit new records, said the ONS.

Average petrol prices rose by 18.1p per litre in June, the largest monthly rise on record, since 1990.

Meanwhile, the average price of diesel rose by 12.7p per litre.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks rose by 9.8% in the year to June, the highest rate since March 2009.

The biggest contributors were milk, cheese and eggs, with the price of vegetables, meat and ready meals also increasing.

Prices charged in restaurants and hotels rose by 8.6% in the year to June, up from 7.6% in May and the highest since August 2021.

Clothing and footwear prices rose at a slower rate of 6.1%, down from 6.9% in May, but there was little evidence of the discounting that normally happens in the summer sales.

The ONS said: “Prices normally fall at this time of year as the summer sales season begins, but there was little movement in 2022 and, in 2021, prices were still rising following the end of the coronavirus lockdown.”

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today Programme Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “We have seen highest annual increase for over 40 years. Over the last year we have seen big increases in gas and electricity charges.

“It is fair to say inflation pressures are fairly broad paced across all categories.

“Looking at producer prices for things like raw materials, they’ve been softening in the last few months so it is not a universal increase.”

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