Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that inflation soared to 5.2% during September, reaching a 19-year high.
The rising cost of gas and electricity has driven up the rate of inflation to new highs, placing further pressure on personal finances.
This is the second time the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen above 4.7% since March 1992, when it stood at 7.2%.
The last time the CPI hit 5.2% was in September 2008 after the price of oil rocketed to an all time high.
The ONS claims that the largest pressures contributing towards the change in CPI were from gas and electricity, as well as airport transport and communication services.
Annual inflation, as recorded by the Retail Price Index (RPI), stands at 5.6% in September, up from 5.2% in August.
This is the highest RPI annual inflation rate for over 20 years (the rate stood at 5.8% in June 1991).
The cost of clothing and footwear altered by 4.4% in just one month, according to ONS figures. This is the largest increase for an August – September period since September 2002.
Housing and household services also went up by a staggering 3.5% between August and September. The reports found that sharp rises in the average household bills have a direct impact on the increased rate of inflation.
The high inflation rate will have a serious impact on living standards in the UK, which are already said to be the worst in Europe.
Brendan Barber, the TUC General Secretary, said; ìThe cost of living is now rising three times faster than wages – squeezing people’s living standards even tighter. But instead of standing up for hard-pressed families, the government is making things worse by hiking VAT and cutting vital tax credits.î
With high unemployment and now high inflation rates, the risk of falling into debt is serious for many. The new inflation rate causes particular concern as 93% of people worry about the effect of inflation on their finances, according to Post Office Savings.
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