2021-September-19 06:30
World
2021-September-15  14:37

UK Inflation Soars to 3.2% in New Record After Rise in Food Prices

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped drive a record surge in inflation this year, new figures suggested.

The UK inflation rate rose to 3.2% in the year to August – the highest level in nine years, since March 2012, The Metro reported.

The new figures mark a 1.2% rise from July when inflation was at 2% – the biggest increase since records began in 1997, according to The Office For National Statistics.

Food prices jumped after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s 2020 summer scheme to give diners 50% off restaurant bills came to an end, researchers said.

There is also likely to have been some impact from the supply chain crisis on inflation last month, which contributed to pushing up the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

The cost of living increased less rapidly in July due to lower clothing and footwear prices.

The rate now once again exceeds the Bank of England’s 2% target, designed to keep inflation low and stable.

But the ONS has warned against reading into August’s price increases too much, saying they are likely to be "temporary".

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said, "August saw the largest rise in annual inflation month on month since the series was introduced almost a quarter of a century ago."

"However, much of this is likely to be temporary as last year restaurant and cafe prices fell substantially due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, while this year prices rose," he added.

"Food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose by more than last year, which also helped push up the rate," he said.

Transport costs also grew in August this year, with average petrol prices reported at 134.6 pence a litre.

This compares with 113.1 pence a litre when people were not travelling as much as they lived under lockdown restrictions.

Owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 3.0% in the 12 months to August 2021 – the largest increase ever recorded.

However, this is also likely to be a temporary change, the ONS says.