Ns News Online Desk: In UK Price rises have seen the biggest jump since records began in 1997 as the economy continued to reopen. Official figures show that the increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, hit 3.2% in the year to August.
Higher prices for food, petrol and used cars were all behind the spike, up from 2% the previous month. The cost of living rose less rapidly in July because of lower clothing and footwear prices.
However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) urged caution in reading too much into August’s price increases, which it described as “temporary”.
Eating and drinking out cost more last month in comparison with August last year, when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was running and diners got a state-backed 50% discount on meals up to £10 each on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
At the same time, business owners in the hospitality and tourism sectors received a VAT discount, designed to help some of the industries worst hit by the pandemic.Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said: “August saw the largest rise in annual inflation month-on-month since the series was introduced almost a quarter of a century ago.
“However, much of this is likely to be temporary, as last year, restaurant and cafe prices fell substantially due to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, while this year, prices rose.” In August this year, transport costs also increased.
Average petrol prices stood at 134.6 pence a liter, compared with 113.1 pence a liter a year earlier, when travel was reduced under lock-down restrictions. Used car prices were also partly to blame for price rises – they increased by 4.9% in just one month. Since April, they have gone up by more than 18% amid a shortage of new models.