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What is the UK’s inflation rate and how high could it go?

Inflation is measured by a body called the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which notes the prices of hundreds of everyday items, known as the “basket of goods”.

The basket is constantly updated. In 2022, items such as tinned beans and sports bras were added, reflecting a rising interest in plant-based diets and exercise.

The ONS releases its measure of inflation each month, showing how much these prices have risen since the same date last year. This is known as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

You may not notice price rises from month to month. But right now, prices across a number of areas are all rising very quickly. 

In the 12 months to February, prices rose 6.2% on average. That means they are now going up at their fastest rate for 30 years.

But the OBR has suggested that the fallout from the war in Ukraine could push inflation to a 40-year high of 8.7% in the final three months of 2022. 

The Bank of England has also warned that inflation could hit double digits if rising fuel prices mean the energy price cap goes up again when it next changes in October.