There has been a higher than expected leap in the rate of inflation, to a 41-year high of 11.1% last month, led by the latest rise in energy bills.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the increase, from 10.1% in September, to 11.1% in October as the cost of light and heating for homes rose further despite help from the government’s energy price guarantee that limits wholesale charges for gas and power.
Food was cited as the other major element adding inflationary pressure during October, rising at the fastest annual pace since 1977.
The ONS estimated that the 11.1% reading for the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation was the highest since October 1981.
It added that prices rose between September and October 2022 by as much as they did in the entire year to July 2021.
Economists polled had expected the rate of inflation to rise to 10.7% – itself still almost double the pace of wage growth.
Surging energy prices have been the main driver of the cost of living crisis – mostly a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February that sent the cost of many commodities such as wheat, and the cost of producing them, through the roof.