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UK inflation rises at fastest pace in 30 years

LONDON (AP) – British consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in 30 years last month, fuelled by soaring prices for household energy and motor fuels, the government statistics agency reported yesterday.

United Kingdom (UK) inflation accelerated to seven per cent in the 12 months through March, the highest annual rate since March 1992, the Office for National Statistics said.

The United States (US) Labor Department said on Tuesday that consumer price index jumped 8.5 per cent last month.

The UK faces what economists said will be the biggest drop in living standards since the mid-1950s as rocketing energy costs, rising food prices and tax increases overshadow rising wages.

Disposable household incomes, adjusted for inflation, are expected to drop by 2.2 per cent this year, according to the government’s independent budget adviser.

Household natural gas prices jumped 28.3 per cent over the last year, and electricity prices rose 19.2 per cent as the global economy recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing worldwide demand for energy.

Prices will continue to rise after Britain’s energy regulator authorised a 54 per cent increase in gas and electricity bills for millions of households that took effect in April.

Transportation costs are also rising, with the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel rising by an average of 30.7 per cent over the past year, the biggest increase since current records began in January 1989, the Office for National Statistics said.