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UK inflation jumps to 30-year high of 6.2%, driven by high fuel costs

UK inflation jumps to 30-year high of 6.2%, driven by high fuel costs

The UK cost of living crisis was reportedly further intensified last month, with inflation touching over 6.2% in February, as per the official numbers unveiled before the spring statement by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

Data from the Office for National Statistics, outlined a jump in the British government’s preferred measure of living costs from 5.5% in January, driven by rising cost of fuel and a number of other goods such as games, toys, and food.

The inflation figure for February’s consumer price index was higher than the estimated 5.9% predicted by economists in a poll, highlighting the extent of the squeeze being put on UK families owing to the soaring costs of living.

With respect to the most recent snapshot, the soaring inflationary squeeze is being driven by the rising costs for electricity and gas, and the average diesel and petrol prices touching unprecedented heights, dealing a severe blow to motorists.

Prices of clothing, flooring, furniture, and footwear have all increased following the end of the high street sales in January, effectively reversing a trend witnessed last year when prices fell during the third nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, which required a lot of stores to shut down.

Business institutions and the Labour party, both had warned that the UK chancellor needed to address the rising cost of living and take urgent actions through his spring statement. Sunak provided his set-piece tax as well as expenditure report to the Commons on Wednesday, and is expected to announce additional household support.

Increasing fuel prices triggered by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, along with April's surge in domestic energy bills, are expected to cause further spikes.

Last week, the Bank of England predicted that inflation will be around 8% in April, with the potential of a double-digit jump in the fall if the electricity price cap is raised again sharply.

According to Matt Whittaker, Pro Bono Economics' CEO, the current inflation numbers suggest that an average single parent would spend an extra £315 on groceries and energy this year compared to 2019, while expenditures for a household of four will inevitably increase by £580.

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Meghna Singh

An English Literature graduate, Meghna Singh ventured into the profession of content development to incorporate her knack for writing articles across verticals including technology, healthcare, business, and alike for News Origins and Newsorigins. She has also completed her MBA in Tourism and worked as a content creator in the field of product development.