Inflation in the UK surged its biggest ever in August amid rising food and consumer pricesissons, reversing a sharp drop a year earlier in government restaurant meals to help diet restaurant discounts.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) a said the consumer price index measure of annual inflation rose to 3.2% in August, down from 2% in July and the highest rate since March 2012, as the cost of 'A meal has returned after a period of strong discount a year ago.
The price hike has exceeded City economists' forecasts for a rate 2.9%, and the 1.2 percentage point increase between July and August figures was the largest since the start of detailed surveys in January 1997.
ONS said the increase was likely temporaryThis was because the reading had been heavily skewed by Rishi Sunak's discount program, which offered customers half-price food and drink between Monday and Wednesday in August 2020. Inflation is calculated based on the annual change in the price of a basket of goods and services.
The statistical agency said removing the impact of the program, which was aimed at boosting economic activity after the first coronavirus lockdown, would have reduced the inflation rate by 0.4 percentage point.
However, there were also big increases for a range of other goods and services, including food and drink in supermarkets, gasoline prices, cars. used and computers play CDs.
The ONS said food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose 1.1% in August, the highest growth rate since 2008, reflecting the impact of the disruption of the supply chain due to the shortage of truck drivers and higher global freight costs.
Bridget Phillipson, the shadow chief secretary of the Tresor said the figures showed families would be hit hard by the government's plan to cut universal credit and increase national insurance.
"People are already feeling the effects of inflation, in their weekly store and at the gas station " she said.