Consumer price inflation has reached the highest level in 41 years, largely driven by fuel and food price rises.

man shopping in supermarket with phone

Food prices soared 16.4% in the year to October, according to the CPI

The consumer prices index (CPI) has peaked at 11.1% in the 12 months to October 2022, up from 10.1% in September.

This means the annual inflation rate is the highest since records began in January 1997, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), while indicative modelling suggests the rate hasn’t been this high since October 1981.

The CPI monthly rate also jumped 2% compared with 1.1% in October 2021 – meaning that between September and October the price of goods and services purchased by UK households increased by 2%.

This was equal to the annual price inflation of the 12 months to July 2021, meaning that prices rose as much for the entire year as they did for the one-month period.

The two biggest contributing factors to the inflation rate were household bills such as energy, and food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Food prices soared 16.4% in the year period to October and jumped 2% on a monthly rate.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “With the energy price cap rising in October, households found their gas and electricity bills going up again, pushing inflation to a new high.

“Food prices, particularly for dairy, rose again, driven up by high fertiliser, animal feed and global food costs. Many customers are keenly anticipating Black Friday deals and other promotions in the run-up to Christmas, as they prepare to buy gifts and festive treats. Unfortunately, there are few signs the cost-of-living crisis will abate any time soon.

“Tomorrow, the chancellor will unveil the autumn Budget, where he has the opportunity to provide support for struggling households and relieve some of the costs on retailers and their suppliers, which in turn put pressure on prices.

“Retailers face an £800m-per-year hike in business rates from April 2023, so urgent government action is needed to mitigate this and prevent even higher inflation in the new year. The Budget is also a chance to fix the broken transitional relief scheme that forces retailers to pay far more business rates than they owe.”