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Inflation surges at record rate: Why has this happened and how does it affect you?

Inflation surged 5.5% in January to its highest rate in 30 years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed today. The shocking figure is even higher than the previous record of 5.4%, which was set just the previous month.

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With millions in the midst of a cost of living crisis, and prices only going upwards, many Brits are asking why inflation is rocketing, and how the change affects them in real terms. Luckily, the experts at money.co.uk have put together a handy guide with all the need-to-know information.

James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at money.co.uk, said: “With millions of British households already facing crushing price rises, today’s news that inflation has hit record levels yet again will be a huge concern for millions.

“Some of the biggest price rises were for petrol (up almost 30p a liter on last year), second hand cars (up 28.7%), energy (gas up 28.3% electricity up 19.2%) and disappointing sales where clothes, shoes and furniture all saw some of the smallest post-Christmas discounts on record.

“Worse, is to come too. With April seeing the average fuel bill soar by £693 and National Insurance rising too. The Bank of England expects inflation to set new records over 7% then.

“Already, families have to spend about £30 more a week to buy the same items they did in 2021, and with wage rises and pensions unlikely to keep pace and more interest rate rises expected too, many families will be facing a cost of living crisis in the months to come.

“There are some steps you can take to reduce bills - but with essentials like energy, petrol and food all rising there’s a limit to what can be done. 

“It means it’s more important than ever to keep your household and personal costs under control, including checking your bills regularly to make sure you’re not being overcharged or moving to a cheaper deal where possible, taking advantage of any tax breaks and benefits you qualify for and canceling services you no longer use.

“A small ray of light is that changes to Universal Credit mean more people can claim than this time last year, and you can keep more of the money you earn on top - it’s worth checking to see if you qualify if you’re not already claiming.

“For more about inflation and what it means for you, see money.co.uk’s comprehensive guide here: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/what-you-need-to-know-about-inflation.htm.” 


About James Andrews

James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments - picking up a series of awards for his journalism along the way.

View James Andrews's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.