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Inflation soars after food and fuel hikes

RISING fuel and food prices have pushed inflation to 2.3 per cent — its highest level since September 2013.

Last month’s Consumer Price Index figure, up from 1.8 per cent in January, is above the Bank of England’s two per cent target.

The drop in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote has been blamed for higher import costs. Jonathan Athow, a statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said price rises have been seen ‘across a range of items but with food and fuel having the largest impact’.

Richard Wazacz, from savings firm Octopus Cash, said the unexpected rise meant households and savers ‘need to be on red alert’ as deposits are worth less in real terms.

The Bank of England predicts inflation will peak at 2.8 per cent next year before falling back to 2.4 per cent.

HOUSE prices started this year £13,000 higher than they were 12 months earlier, official figures show. The average price is now £218,000 as 0.8 per cent month-on-month rises continue, the Land Registry reports. London continues to have the highest average price at £491,000, followed by the south-east and the east of England, at £319,000 and £279,000 respectively.