Rising prices across the board sent inflation in the United Kingdom soaring to a new 30-year high in February as the cost-of-living crisis intensified, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday that Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 6.2 percent in February, up from 5.5 percent in January and again reaching the highest level since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1 percent.
The rise was higher than expected and comes after prices lifted across food, clothing, and footwear, and a range of products and services.
The ONS said inflation rose across 10 out of the 12 categories that feed into the index, with only communication and education not seeing increases.
Experts have warned that prices will rise further still as the Ukraine conflict pushes up already sky-high inflation, adding to painful price rises for energy, fuel, commodities, and food.
An increased energy price cap, the planned reversal of a hospitality VAT cut, and an increase in national insurance tax are set to deepen the crisis facing British households.
The Bank of England last week raised interest rates for the third time since mid-December, to 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent, and warned that inflation will now peak at about 8 percent in April – and could hit double-digits if wholesale energy prices continue to soar amid the Ukraine war.
In April, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) – the UK government regulator – will raise the energy price cap by 54 percent and, given the impact of Ukraine on gas prices, a further increase is expected in October, possibly by as much as another 50 percent.