Huge rise in inflation brought on by food prices

Spiralling food prices are being blamed for the biggest leap in annual inflation since records began.

Annual inflation measured by the consumer prices index (CPI) rose to 4.4% in July, up from 3.8% in June, reveal the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The 0.6% leap in the annual rate is the highest change since records began in 1997.

It means annual inflation is now twice the rate of the government’s target of 2.2%.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages

The largest upward pressure came from food and non-alcoholic beverages which rose from an annual rate of 9.5 % in June, to 12.3 % in July.

Food inflation alone has spiralled to a CPI record 13.7 % on the year, up from 10.6 % in June.

As in the previous month, this was principally due to a rise in meat costs, particularly bacon, ham and poultry.

Meat rose to 16.3 % year on year, up from 11.2 % in June.

Bread and vegetables

There were also increases in bread and cereals and vegetables including potatoes.

Breads and cereals saw an increase of 15.9 % on the year, up from 11.9 % in June.

Vegetables, including potatoes, shot up to 11.1 % up from 7.4 %.

An internationally comparable measure, the CPI shows that the UK inflation rate of 3.8% in June was below the provisional rate of 4.3% for the European Union as a whole.

Inflation

Inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) rose to 5% from 4.6%.

UK petrol prices at the pumps increased by 1.2 pence per litre between June and July this year, to stand at 118.8 pence, compared with a fall of 0.4 pence last year.

Diesel prices rose by 1.8 pence per litre this year to stand at 132.3 pence per litre, compared with a fall of 0.4 pence last year.

Air passenger transport was a significant contributor too, rising from 5.4 % year on year in June to 8.9 % in July.

Fares rose by more than last year particularly on European routes.

Electricity, gas and other fuels saw an increase in the annual rate from 13.8 % to 16.1 %.

Gas and electricity bills were unchanged this year but fell a year ago.

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