British inflation surged its biggest ever in August amid rising food and drink prices, reversing a sharp drop a year earlier during the government’s restoration program to help the reduction program restaurants.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Price Index’s measure of annual inflation rose to 3.2% in August, from 2% in July, as the cost of one meal dropped after a period of severe reduction a year ago.
The price increase topped city economists’ forecasts for a rate of 2.9%, and the 1.2 percentage point increase between July and August figures was the largest since surveys began. detailed in January 1997.
The ONS said the rise was likely temporary because the reading was heavily skewed by Rishi Sunak’s rebate program, which offered customers half-price food and drink between Monday and Wednesday in August 2020. Inflation is calculated on the basis of the annual change in prices. for a basket of goods and services.
The statistics agency said removing the impact of the program, which was designed to boost economic activity after the coronavirus first lockdown, would have reduced the inflation rate by 0.4 percentage points.
However, there have also been sharp increases for a range of other goods and services, including food and drink in supermarkets, gasoline prices, used cars, and computer games and CDs. .
The ONS said prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.1% in August, the highest growth rate since 2008, reflecting the impact of the disruption in the supply chain. supply due to the shortage of truck drivers and rising global freight costs.
Bridget Phillipson, shadow chief secretary of the Treasury, said the figures showed families would be hit hard by the government’s plan to cut universal credit and increase national insurance.
“People are already feeling the effects of inflation, in their weekly store and at the gas station,” she said.