UK inflation hits 41-year high
British consumer prices saw a surge of 11.1% in October, smashing a 41-year high and exceeding analysts’ projections as the nation continued to struggle with soaring food, transport and energy costs.
The figures, revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday, mark an increase from the 40-year high of 10.1% recorded in September and top the 10.7% forecast by economists polled earlier by Reuters.
The annual increase in the consumer price index (CPI) is attributed to surging prices for electricity, gas and other fuels despite the Energy Price Guarantee program introduced by UK authorities on October 1.
“Indicative modelled consumer price inflation estimates suggest that the CPI rate would have last been higher in October 1981, where the estimate for the annual inflation rate was 11.2%,” the ONS said.
The statistics office stressed that inflation would have grown to nearly 13.8% if the government hadn't intervened to cap the price of household energy bills to £2,500 ($2,960) per year on average.
“Over the past year, gas prices have climbed nearly 130% while electricity has risen by around 66%,” ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said in a statement.
Last week, the office issued a gloomy outlook revealing that the UK economy shrank in the third quarter. At the same time, the Bank of England’s latest projection is for the recession to continue through the first half of 2024.
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