Households suffer as inflation hits 30 year high

14th April 2022

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that inflation hit a 30-year high of 7% in March.

The increase marks the highest level of inflation since the 7.1% rate recorded in March 1992.

Inflation increased from the 6.2% seen in February and also came in higher than the 6.7% expected by analysts.

The increase does not take into account the average 54% increase in energy bills that came into effect two weeks ago, so April’s figure is expected to be even higher. The Bank of England has predicted that inflation could peak at around 8% in April.

A surge in fuel prices had the biggest impact on the inflation rate in March, with average petrol and diesel prices at record highs, while the cost of food, furniture, household equipment, clothes and shoes also saw increases of between 5% and 10%.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said “Broad-based price rises saw annual inflation increase sharply again in March.” He added: “The price of goods leaving UK factories has continued to rise substantially with metal and transport products both at record highs and food reaching its highest rate for over a decade. Raw material costs also rose, with a notable increase in the price of crude oil.”

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, 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 report 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.”