U.K. annual inflation reached a four-decade high of 9% in April as higher energy prices fed through households’ utility bills, exacerbating a cost-of-living crisis that is squeezing consumers’ real incomes.
The consumer price index–which measures what consumers pay for some goods and services–increased at its fastest pace since 1982, a sharp pickup from the 7% inflation rate registered in March, according to data from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics released Wednesday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected inflation to come in at 9.1%.
The jump in inflation was driven largely by the revision of the energy price cap, which limits the rates a supplier can charge for their default tariffs and is reviewed twice a year. In April, the British energy regulator applied a price cap rise of 54% after the jump in global gas prices.
Consumer prices rose 2.5% on month in April, the ONS said.
The core price index–which excludes volatile categories such as energy costs and food–increased 6.2% in April on year, accelerating from March’s annual 5.7% rise.
Economists expect U.K. inflation to remain high for the remainder of the year due to high commodity and food prices, but expect it to fall sharply in 2023.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at [email protected]