UK inflation hits 41-year high as WTO warns of recession in major economies

New Delhi(International Desk): Soaring energy, food, and transport prices drove Britain’s inflation to a new high in October, jumping to a 41-year high of 11.1 percent, squeezing households and businesses amid warning of recession in major economies by the world trade body.

The Office for National Statistics in a report on Wednesday said the annual rate of inflation in the country jumped to 11.1 percent in October from 10.1 percent in the twelve months to September, the highest since October 1981.

According to Press TV, the sharp surge in living costs was caused by rising gas and electricity prices, despite a government energy price guarantee.

“Over the past year, gas prices have climbed nearly 130% while electricity has risen by around 66%,” ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said in a statement.

Food prices had their biggest jump since 1977, the ONS said while rising gas and electricity bills have continued to drive up overall prices.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has warned reigning in inflation would require tough decisions on tax and spending.

He has outlined plans to raise about £60 billion “to help balance” the accounts in a budget statement.

Hunt considers the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine to be the main reason for the price hikes. He believes those issues will neutralize any chance of long-term economic growth.

Gas and electricity prices have seen the biggest jump, rising 23.4 percent despite a government scheme in place to keep energy bills low: the Energy Price Guarantee.

Supermarket prices of some of the most popular branded food products have doubled in some cases over the past two years.

Britain is expected to enter an economic recession in the coming months. Unemployment rate in the country has gone up. Workers face a reduction in real wages in the face of inflation.

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said the livelihoods crisis Britain faces is getting worse every day, calling on ministers to ramp up public sector pay above the 2 percent mark reported for next year. She said the crisis will continue as long as wages remain intact.