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UK inflation jumps to 40-year peak

Britain’s annual inflation rate surged to a 40-year high last month on rocketing energy costs, official data showed Wednesday, deepening a cost-of-living crisis.

Consumer prices index inflation hit 9.0 percent in April from 7.0 percent in March, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

The ONS estimated that this was the highest level since 1982, while it was the fastest measured rate since the data series began in 1989.

Nations across the world are plagued by decades-high inflation as the Ukraine conflict pushes up energy and food prices, in turn forcing the Bank of England and other central banks to ramp up interest rates, AFP reports.

BoE governor Andrew Bailey on Monday warned of an “apocalyptic” situation surrounding runaway food costs — which he said were fuelled by major wheat and cooking oil producer Ukraine finding itself unable to export its goods.

UK consumer prices also leapt in April after a cap on domestic gas and electricity was hiked due to spiking wholesale energy costs.

“Inflation rose steeply in April, driven by the sharp climb in electricity and gas prices as the higher price cap came into effect,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner on Wednesday, reports AFP.

“Around three-quarters of the increase in the annual rate this month came from utility bills.

“We have also published new modelled historical estimates today which show that CPI annual inflation was last higher 40 years ago.”