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Inflation rises in Britain by 9%; steepest surge in 40 years

By Ashley Williams
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Inflation rises in Britain by 9%; steepest surge in 40 years
Wednesday's report came after British homes saw a dramatic spike in the cost of gas and electricity, which resulted from a government move to raise the cap on those costs due to the impact of the Ukraine war on global energy supplies. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

May 18 (UPI) -- Like the United States, Britain is dealing with its highest Inflation in about 40 years -- due largely to rising energy prices that are being disrupted by Russia's war in Ukraine.

The Office for National Statistics said in a report Wednesday that prices rose by 9% for the past 12 months ending in April, the highest rate since 1982.

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The increase from March to April was 2%, the ONS report noted.

Wednesday's report came a few weeks after British homes saw a dramatic spike in the cost of gas and electricity, which resulted from a government move to raise the cap on those costs due to the impact of the Ukraine war on global energy supplies.

"We cannot protect people completely from these global challenges but are providing significant support where we can, and stand ready to take further action," Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said according to the Evening Standard.

Rising consumer prices in Britain are putting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to take even more steps to avert a cost-of-living crisis. File Photo by Leszek Szymanski/EPA-EFE
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The ONS report reflects rising prices around the world, which were first spurred by COVID-19 and then Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

The U.S. government's top inflation gauge said last week that prices in the United States have risen by more than 8% over the past year, which is also a 40-year high.

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Some experts say that Wednesday's report increases pressure on the British government to take sterner measures to cap prices and avert a cost-of-living crisis that could lower Britons' standard of living to levels not seen in decades.

Earlier this month, the Bank of England hiked interest rates by the largest level in 13 years in a bid to control rising prices. Hiking rates traditionally slows inflation by controlling consumer spending, which is a primary driver of inflation. The U.S. central bank made a similar move this month.

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