| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Price rises see record jump as food costs soar in August

Prices have seen the largest surge since records began in 1997 as the economy continued to reopen.

Official figures show that the increase in the cost of living, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, hit 3.2 percent in the year to August.

Higher prices in restaurants and for recreation and food were behind the spike, up from 2 percent the previous month.

The cost of living rose less rapidly in July because of lower clothing and footwear prices.

However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) urged caution in reading too much into August’s price increases, which it described as “temporary”.

Eating and drinking out cost more last month in comparison with August last year, when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was running and diners got a state-backed 50% discount on meals up to £10 each on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.