Inflation hits new 30-year high ahead of spring announcement

Inflation in the UK soared to a new 30-year high, according to fresh ONS data this morning.

Data released this morning shows that the consumer price index rose to 6.2% in February this year from 5.5% in January and higher than the forecast 6%.

This is the highest annual price increase since March 1992.

The ONS also reported that the retail price index hit a 31-year high of 8.2%.


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These statistics come after Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivers his Spring Statement to MPs this afternoon.

Rising prices are likely to increase pressure on Sunak to back out of a planned tax hike next month as households struggle to cope with rising bills.

Commenting on the latest ONS Prices data, Jack Leslie, Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Another sharp rise in inflation last month foreshadows a huge decline in earnings this year, with inflation likely to hit at least 8 percent. this spring – which could be the highest in 40 years – along with a second spike this fall.

“This extended period of high inflation, which millions of people have simply never experienced before, is a complete disaster for living standards. This will mean that wage packages will continue to shrink, along with vital income support such as universal credit and the state pension.

“The Chancellor will need to set out a bold response to this cost-of-living crisis in his statement this spring, starting with ensuring that benefits are in line with inflation over the next 12 months, rather than £10bn cuts as they are currently. sure to do.”

Kitty Asher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: “This higher-than-expected growth, even before the expected increase in electricity bills in April, demonstrates that rising inflation is now hardwired to routine business decisions and price increases are widespread. across all sectors of the economy.

“Today’s data is consistent with our own member surveys, which also showed a rapid increase in inflation expectations from January to February.

“High inflation increases uncertainty and the cost of doing business. For households dependent on benefit income, there is an additional problem, namely that benefit rates are increasing in line with the inflation rate that was in September last year, which was 3.1%, which was only half the current level. All eyes will be on the Chancellor this afternoon to see if he is ready to take action.”

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