Cost of living: Which prices are increasing the most and what is behind the rising inflation? | business news

Inflation hit a new 30-year high of 6.2% last month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The consumer price index (CPI) rose more than expected, the ONS said, and could hit 8% next month.

Sky News looks at which prices are rising the most.

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housing costs

Housing costs and services rose 7.2% in the past year and were the biggest contributor to rising inflation, the ONS said.

This is due to increases in gas and electricity prices following the 12% increase in the government’s cap on energy prices on October 1, 2021.

Electricity inflation rates were 19.2% for electricity and 28.3% for gas in the year to February.

Rental prices also increased 2.3% and costs for those who live in their own home increased 2.5%.


Transport costs have seen an 11.5% increase in the year to February, the largest increase of any category measured by the Office for National Statistics and the other key contributor to rising inflation.

This was mainly due to skyrocketing gasoline and diesel prices, which hit record highs last month.

The average price of gasoline was 147.6 cents per liter in February, while diesel stood at 151.7 cents per liter.

They are expected to continue to contribute to inflation, with the price of petrol now at £1.67 and diesel reaching £1.79 after sanctions were imposed on Russian oil in response to the war in Ukraine.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that rising transportation costs have knock-on effects on the price of other products and services.

The ONS said used car prices rose as the pandemic encouraged people to seek alternatives to public transport that would keep them safe from the virus.

The global shortage of semiconductors has also affected the production of new cars and led to the purchase of more second-hand cars.

Furniture, tableware and maintenance

Prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance rose 9.2% last year, the ONS said.

Furniture and fixtures experienced the greatest price increases.

Clothes and shoes

Clothing and footwear prices have risen 8.9% due to “unusual price movements” during the pandemic.

Prices last February were lower than usual and fell after England entered its third lockdown on January 6 and forced non-essential retail stores to close, with other COVID restrictions in place elsewhere in the UK.

But this year they have returned to their normal pattern, which is to increase between January and February as new stock enters stores after the new year sales period.

This resulted in a larger annual jump.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages

The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 5.1% in the last year and 0.9% since January, compared to 0.3% from January to February last year.

The increase from January to February this year was the largest change during this time period since 2012.

In the last month, the costs of bottled water, soft drinks, juices, meat, sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and sweets were the ones that increased the most.

These are the main increases compared to last February:

• coffee, tea and hot chocolate: 7.5%
• oils and fats: 6.7%
• fruit: 6.2%
• bottled water, soft drinks and juices: up to 6.1%
• milk, cheese and eggs: 6.1%
• meat: 5.2%
• bread and cereals: 4.9%
• vegetables: 4.2%
• fish: 3.2%
• sugar, jam, syrups and sweets: 3.5%

The rising cost of wheat has affected the price of many food products.

The price of a bushel of wheat was $6.34 in February of last year and reached $9.34 at the end of last month.

It has since peaked on March 8 at $12.86, double the figure in February 2021 and is trading today at $11.23.

One bushel makes enough flour to bake 70 1-pound loaves of white bread or 90 1-pound whole-wheat loaves.

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Why the Russian invasion will make your bread more expensive

Russia and Ukraine accounted for 30% of world wheat exports before the war and now Ukraine is struggling to get its wheat out of the country, causing a global food shortage that is expected to push food prices even higher.

Skyrocketing costs for fertilizer, animal feed, often made from wheat, and fuel are hitting farmers, who are passing the increases on to consumers.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

In fact, the price of spirits fell by 0.1%, while wine and beer experienced smaller increases than those of food: 2.8% and 1.3%, respectively.

Tobacco has become 5.7% more expensive.

Restaurants and hotels

Restaurant and hotel bills grew by 5.0%.

The ONS said these increases should be interpreted with caution because many restaurants and hotels closed during the lockdowns across the UK and accurate price information was not available.

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War to raise the cost of living in the UK

recreation and culture

The biggest contributor to the rise in inflation from January to February this year came from culture and recreation costs, especially “games, toys and hobbies,” the ONS said.

They usually go down in price between January and February, but this year they went up.

In the last year the price of culture and leisure has grown by 4.7%.

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Families choosing between food and power

Computer games and more traditional toys are becoming more expensive, but the ONS said price movements for the former can sometimes be large depending on which games are released.

DVD prices rose this year instead of falling, while sports equipment, such as golf balls and tennis rackets, and pet food played a big role.

Other categories

The prices of health and communication services were the lowest of all the increases, with 2.6% and 1.1%, respectively.

The cost of education increased by 4.5%, while spending on private health was 2.6%.

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