UK inflation strikes 30-year-high

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Britain’s annual inflation rate soared to the highest level in three decades last month as energy prices rocket, official data showed Wednesday.

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Inflation surged to 7.0 percent in March from 6.2 percent in February, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

“Broad-based price rises saw annual inflation increase sharply again in March,” said ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

“Amongst the largest increases were petrol costs.”

Prices of restaurant meals and hotel rooms also rose steeply last month after falling a year earlier during a pandemic lockdown in the UK.

Costs are surging worldwide as economies reopen from pandemic lockdowns and on fallout from the war in Ukraine.

US inflation rose by a huge 8.5 percent over the 12 months to March, the biggest jump in four decades, official data showed Tuesday.

Sharp price rises across the board are forcing central banks around the world to hike interest rates, curbing economic growth recovery.

European Central Bank governors meet Thursday to ponder record-high inflation in the eurozone and fresh economic uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, with policymakers signaling a willingness to take action sooner rather than later.

The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have already announced their first rate hikes to combat price pressures, leaving the ECB looking out of step.

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