The annual rate of inflation recorded a rise to 7% in the 12 months to March as the cost of living continues to soar.
This marked a further uptick from the 6.2% rise recorded in February.
The 7% increase in inflation is now the highest level recorded since March 1992, when inflation stood at 7.1%, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The rise was in part attributed to the significant energy price increases, with the 12-month inflation rate for electricity and gas standing at 19.2% and 28.3% respectively this month.
However, this month’s inflation rise did not include the 54% rise in energy prices from April after the regulator lifted the price cap on the maximum rate suppliers can charge.
Fuel prices also rose significantly in March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The average petrol price stood at 160.2p per litre last month, up from 123.7p in the same month last year. Diesel prices also soared to 170.5p a litre.
These figures both marked the highest prices ever recorded by the ONS.
Food prices also rose by the highest rate since September 2011, with prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rising by 5.9% in the year to March.
Clothing and footwear prices grew by 9.7% in the year to March, while prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance also saw a 10.4% increase in the same period.
The Bank of England expects inflation to rise to around 8% over the coming months, warning in March: “Inflation is expected to increase further in coming months, to around 8% in 2022 Q2, and perhaps even higher later this year.”
In response to the update, British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Households around the UK will be feeling the pinch as the cost of living continues to rise. Retailers are trying to help consumers by expanding their value ranges and doing all they can to keep the price of essentials down.
“This can be seen in the BRC’s Shop Price Index, which tracks the price of basic goods, which showed a slower rise in the price of essential foods and other products than the inflation levels reported by the ONS.
“Consumer confidence has fallen significantly in recent months, as worries around personal finances rise. Households face a plethora of rising costs, with higher inflation to come as the increase in the energy price cap pushes up April’s figures. Retailers are not exempt from these pressures, as the costs of transport, energy, raw materials and staff wages all continue to rise.”
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