Britain’s inflation rate hit a 40-year high last month as Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed food and fuel prices higher.
Consumer price inflation accelerated to 9% in the 12 months to April, from 7% the previous month, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday. According to the agency’s statistical modeling, this is the highest rate since 1982, when inflation reached 11%.
The figures will increase pressure on governments to alleviate the cost of living that economists predict will be the biggest decline in living standards since the 1950s.
Millions of households across the UK have been hit by a 54% jump in gas and electricity bills in the past month after regulators increased fuel price caps to reflect rising wholesale prices. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has put further pressure on food and fuel prices.
The government is planning to cut income taxes and increase subsidies for low-income people struggling to pay their fuel bills, British media reported on Wednesday. It is also considering imposing a tax on the uncomfortable profits of energy companies, which have benefited from higher oil and gas prices.
With global inflation rising, the United States reported a nearly four-decade high of 8.3% last month. The 19 countries that use the euro have seen months of inflation, but the European Union’s statistics agency on Wednesday revised its preliminary 7.5% figure for April to 7.4%. This keeps the annual rate stable with March, Eurostat said.
Central banks around the world have moved to deal with rising consumer prices by raising interest rates. The US Federal Reserve raised its key rate this month for the first time since 2000 and suggested it would continue, as the Bank of England became more aggressive.
The bank has raised its key rate four times since December, reaching a 13-year high this month.