UK inflation rate rises to highest level in nearly four years
The UK’s inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 2.9% in May, up from 2.7% in April, data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
The rising costs of package holidays and imported computer games helped to push the rate to its current level. The ONS found that food and clothing prices also rose, but fuel prices fell.
Economists had previously predicted that the rate of inflation would remain at 2.7% in May.
Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), commented: ‘Higher inflation is a key business concern as it squeezes margins and weakens their ability to invest, particularly during this time of heightened political uncertainty.
‘A key focus of the new government must therefore be on easing the current pressure on firms’ cost base by tackling the burden of upfront costs and taxes associated with doing business in the UK.’
Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) expressed concerns that the UK’s rising inflation rate ‘continues to far outstrip wage growth’.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, warned: ‘The election showed that working people are struggling. The new government must stop the real wage slide. Ministers must focus on delivering better-paid jobs all around the UK.’