UK inflation hits 40-year high as price of essentials soar

UK inflation has soared to a 40-year high as the cost-of-living crisis continues to intensify.

According to The Office for National Statistics (ONS), Britons have been hit by sharply higher grocery bills, with food and non-alcoholic drink prices increasing by 9.8% in the year to June 2022, the highest rate since March 2009.

Food prices lifted 1.2% month on month in June which follows similar increases in April and May as higher cost pressures and the impact of the Ukraine war filter down to the supermarket aisles.

READ MORE: Average UK food bill climbs to £454 a year as inflation hits 9.9%

According to the data, the largest upward effect came from essentials such as milk, cheese and eggs, but big price rises were also seen for vegetables, meat and ready meals.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of living standards at think tank the Resolution Foundation, said it is a “disaster for poorer households” to see food prices rising faster than the wider inflation rate.

The ONS also said Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose to 9.4% in June, up from 9.1% in May. This remains the highest level since February 1982.

ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner added: “Annual inflation again rose to stand at its highest rate for over 40 years.

“The increase was driven by rising fuel and food prices; these were only slightly offset by falling second-hand car prices.”

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