British annual inflation has hit a fresh 40-year high, official data showed Wednesday, further eroding workers’ wages in a Cost-of-Living (CoL) crisis, and heaping more pressuring the Bank of England to keep raising interest rates.
The inflation rate edged higher to 9.1 percent in May from 9.0 percent in April, remaining at the highest level since 1982, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
UK inflation is set to top 11 percent before the end of the year according to the Bank of England, fueled by soaring energy prices that have raised the prospect of a global recession. Decades-high inflation is causing a cost-of-living crisis in Britain and elsewhere. UK railway staff are this week staging the sector’s biggest strike action in more than 30 years, as soaring prices erode the value of wages.
Inflation increased in May on “continued steep food price rises and record high petrol prices”, said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.
This was offset by clothing costs rising by less than a year earlier and a drop in prices of computer games, he added.
“The further increase in Consumer Prices Index inflation to 9.1 percent underscores the severe pressure that businesses and households are under,” said David Bharier, head of research at the British Chambers of Commerce. – JAPAN TODAY