Inflation: Six things rising in price the fastest as increases hit 7%

The rise was higher than the 6.7% analysts had been expecting and was driven by fuel, restaurant and grocery prices, which dealt an extra blow to households – and is expected to hit 8% next month

Alcohol prices are on the list
Alcohol prices are on the list

Pressure on households intensified in March as soaring food and fuel prices pushed inflation to another 30-year high before energy bills soared.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said consumer price index (CPI) inflation rose 7% for the year to March, up from 6.2% in February.

This was again the highest level since March 1992 when inflation was 7.1%.

The rise was higher than the 6.7% analysts had been expecting and was driven by fuel, restaurant and grocery prices, dealing an extra blow to households.

“Broad-based price increases caused annual inflation to rise sharply again in March,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

“Among the biggest increases have been petrol costs, with prices largely predating the recent fuel tax cut, and furniture.”

He also pointed to steep jumps in restaurant and hotel prices while the cost of many groceries rose.

Fuel prices are leading the increases



Six everyday goods that are increasing in price the fastest

These are the items rising the fastest according to March ONS figures.

  1. petrol – Average petrol prices rose by 12.6 pence per liter between February and March 2022, the biggest monthly increase since 1990). Diesel is up 18.8 pence per liter this year, compared with an increase of 3.5 pence per liter a year ago.
  2. restaurants and hotels – namely alcoholic beverages served in restaurants, cafes and pubs and from room bookings.
  3. housing and household services – Housing, water, electricity and gas are all up, although the latest increase doesn’t take into account April’s price hikes.
  4. furniture and household goods – Furniture and furnishings, in particular living room and bedroom furniture, equipment, tools and equipment for the house and garden.
  5. To eat and drink – the largest come from oils and fats (mainly margarine and low-fat spreads), as well as from milk, cheese, and eggs.
  6. alcohol – Alcohol and tobacco prices increased by 1.1% in 2022. The upside came from a combination of tobacco (particularly cigarettes) and spirits such as vodka and whiskey.

Petrol averaging 160.2p per liter in March and diesel at 170.5p were both at record prices.

The price of clothing and shoes rose 9.7% in the year to March, furniture, appliances and maintenance rose 10.4%, while groceries and soft drinks rose 5.9%.

The data also shows that the price of oils and fats for food rose 7.2% in March alone, contributing to an increase of more than 18% over the last year.

Ukraine is the world’s top supplier of sunflower oil and Russia is the second largest supplier, so global prices have been hit by the war.

March inflation does not take into account the average 54% increase in energy bills applied to around 22 million homes two weeks ago.

This will not appear in the CPI numbers until next month when the April data is expected to show another jump, further underscoring the mounting pressure on ordinary people.

Jack Leslie, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation think-tank, said: “With yesterday’s ONS data showing wages failing to keep pace with rising prices, the UK cost-of-living crisis is on its way, its biggest drag since the middle of the 20th century Becoming 70s – will continue to worsen before leveling off sometime next year.”

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

Alpesh Paleja, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, also warned of a further rise in inflation.

“Volatility in global commodity prices and ongoing supply chain disruption will further increase price pressures,” he said.

“The result will be even higher costs for businesses and severe pressure on the cost of living for households.”

He called for efforts to make homes and workplaces more energy efficient to keep bills down, something experts warned last week was missing from the government’s energy strategy.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “Pensioners and families in need urgently need help with their energy bills and unfair tax increases to reverse them immediately.

“It is now or never to save Britain from this cost of living crisis and it is clear that this government is not up to the task.”

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

He said the government would provide £22billion in support this financial year and help people find work.

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Fry Electronics Team

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