Inflation hits 40-year high at 9.1%

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Cost of living crisis: food prices hikes have pushed inflation to a record high
Cost of living crisis: food prices hikes have pushed inflation to a record high

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Rising food, energy and fuel costs has seen the rate of inflation hit 9.1% for May – the fastest rise in 40 years, according to the latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics.

The pressures faced by most of the country regarding cost-of-living increases has led to unions such as rail workers calling for pay rises and striking, leaving the UK’s hospitality sector facing potential losses of £540m​ according to UKHospitality.

Although inflation is at its highest level since March 1982, when it was also 9.1%, the Bank of England has forecast the level will reach 11% later this year.

Biggest contributors

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices were the single biggest contributor, with all categories seeing price increases on the year. Staples such as meat, bread and cereals, and oil and fats were the largest contributors to food price inflation between April and May 2022.

Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said the prices of goods leaving factories rose at their fastest rate in 45 years in May, driven by widespread food price rises while the cost of raw materials grew at their fastest rate on record.

Little changed

He added: “Though still at historically high levels, the annual inflation rate was little changed in May.

“Continued steep food price rises and record high petrol prices were offset by clothing costs rising by less than this time last year and a drop in often fluctuating computer games prices.”

The BBC reported chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government was “using all the tools at our disposal to bring inflation down and combat rising prices”.

He added: “I know people are worried about the rising cost of living, which is why we have taken targeted action to help families, getting £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable households.”

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