The rate of inflation rose again in May, remaining at 40-year highs, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The rate of consumer prices index (CPI) inflation rose from 9% in April to 9.1% in May, matching what analysts had expected.
“Though still at historically high levels, the annual inflation rate was little changed in May,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.
“Continued steep food price rises and record high petrol prices were offset by clothing costs rising by less than this time last year, and a drop in often fluctuating computer games prices.
“The price of goods leaving factories rose at their fastest rate in 45 years, driven by widespread food price rises, while the cost of raw materials leapt at their fastest rate on record.”
Responding to the latest inflation figures, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I know that people are worried about the rising cost of living, which is why we have taken targeted action to help families, getting £1,200 to the eight million most vulnerable households.
“We are using all the tools at our disposal to bring inflation down and combat rising prices, we can build a stronger economy through independent monetary policy, responsible fiscal policy which doesn’t add to inflationary pressures, and by boosting our long-term productivity and growth.”
Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte, said: “Set against inflation of over 9%, base interest rates of 1.25% remain by historic standards very low, so significant rate rises lie ahead we expect base rates to more than double in the next six months.
“The Bank of England is presiding over what seems likely to be the sharpest tightening of monetary policy since the 1980s – it is touch and go as to whether the bank will be able to curb inflation without triggering a recession.”
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