Inflation rises to 9.1%

Inflation in the UK has increased to 9.1%, the highest rate in 40 years, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The increase in May, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), is the second rise since April, when inflation reached 9%.

The rise in CPI is attributed to the rising cost of food and non-alcoholic drink prices, which the ONS says are rising at the fastest annual rate since 2009. The highest increases are seen in the costs of bread, cereals and meat.

Increased prices for petrol and diesel also drove up inflation in May, resulting in a 32.8% jump in fuel costs over the past year.

The retail price index also rose by 11.7% in May.

This follows the Bank of England's warning that inflation is on course to surpass 11% by November, with energy bills and gas prices being the main drive behind the increases.

Kitty Usher, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

"Although there will be some reassurance that the rate of increase has temporarily steadied following last month's rise, we will have a long wait before it gets anywhere near back to the Bank of England's 2% target.

"Our own surveys of IoD members show almost half of business leaders (46%) think inflation will still be above the Bank of England's target two years from now."

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