18 May 2022Inflation has hit its highest level in 40 years amid the deteriorating cost-of-living crisis, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The rate shot up to 9% last month – its highest level since comparable readings in 1982. Data released by the ONS showed a broad-based hike in prices for everyday goods and services during April, with almost three-quarters of the increase accounted for by the unprecedented 54% increase in the energy price cap which kicked in at the start of the month. The highest prices on record for both petrol and diesel were other major factors. Commenting on the data, Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'Inflation was always likely to hit hard in April given the energy price cap increase. 'Looking ahead, inflation is likely to stay high, with a resulting historic squeeze in households' incomes and a tough trading environment for businesses. 'It is critical the government explores options to help people facing real hardship now, and support cashflow for vulnerable firms. Stimulating business investment is also crucial, to both plug the near-term gap in growth and to shore up the economy's potential to withstand future shocks.'