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Experts fear rise in interest rates after inflation more than doubled in April

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EXPERTS fear a rise in interest rates after inflation more than doubled in April. 

The cost of living has started to climb amid the post-Covid recovery, leading to consumer price inflation of 1.5 per cent. 

A surge in energy and clothing costs pushed up prices in April

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A surge in energy and clothing costs pushed up prices in AprilCredit: Getty

In March, the CPI was just 0.7 per cent, before a surge in energy and clothing costs pushed up prices.

It means costs to UK consumers are increasing at their fastest rate since March 2020.

The difference was mainly due to price rises this year compared with falls at the beginning of the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday.

The climbing cost of crude oil has also led to higher petrol prices at the pumps, it added.

Experts expect further increases in the cost of living this year as consumer demand outstrips supply. 

A spike in inflation will put pressure on the Bank of England to raise rates. 

Christopher Snowdon, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “We have all the ingredients for a bout of inflation.

“The only question is whether it will be short and sharp or if it will become a chronic problem leading to higher interest rates and a downward spiral.”

International financial markets have been rattled by inflation fears after consumer prices in the US recorded their biggest annual jump since 2008.

Laith Khalaf, of analyst AJ Bell, said: “The Bank is dismissing consumer price increases as a natural bounce back. But the recovery could be a Trojan horse, smuggling inflation into the UK.”

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