Food inflation soars to 5.9%, reaching “highest rate for over a decade”

Food and drink inflation has reached 5.9% in the year to March, reaching its “highest rate for over a decade” amid the cost-of-living crisis, according to the latest figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The news comes as the ONS reported that CPI Inflation has now reached 7% in the 12 months to March 2022, up from 6.2% in February.

The rise was higher than the 6.7% that analysts had expected and was driven by fuel, restaurant and food prices.

The data also revealed that the price of oils and fats for food increased by 7.2% in March alone, adding to a more than 18% rise in the last year.

Global oil prices have been impacted by the war in Ukraine because Ukraine and Russia account for a large portion of the world’s sunflower oil production.

“Broad-based price rises saw annual inflation increase sharply again in March,” ONS chief economist grant Fitzner said.

READ MORE: Food inflation soars to highest rate since 2013

“Amongst the largest increases were petrol costs, with prices mostly collected before the recent cut in fuel duty, and furniture.”

“There were rises across a number of different types of food. 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.”

Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation think tank, also commented, saying: “With ONS data yesterday showing that wages are not keeping pace with rising prices, Britain’s cost-of-living crisis – on track to be the biggest squeeze since the mid-70s – will continue to worsen before it starts to ease at some point next year.”

The Bank of England has predicted that inflation could peak at around 8% in April as the new energy prices are factored in.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in response to the latest figures: “We’re seeing rising costs caused by global pressures in our supply chains and energy markets which could be exacerbated further by Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

He said that the Government would provide £22 billion of support this financial year and is helping people into work.

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