Increases in the price of energy, gasoline and food all contribute to the unprecedented increase in cost of livingwhere the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached its highest level since ONS current records began in the 1980s.
The ONS calculates inflation by measuring the price of a basket of goods and services that a typical consumer buys. Items are weighted based on their importance and the amount we spend on them.
The CPI has risen rapidly in recent months, from 6.2% in February to 7% in March and then to 9% in April before touching the current level of 9.1%.
This means that the cost of living in May 2022 was, on average, 9.1% higher than in May 2021 – although there have been warnings that lower-income families, who spend a larger portion of their income on essentials like energy and groceries, these face even steeper inflation.
But for what types of products are consumers facing the highest rates of inflation?
NationalWorld analyzed ONS numbers to find the 20 specific goods and services that saw the largest price increases over the past month.
Liquid fuels: up 122.6%
Energy items dominate the top of the inflation rankings in May.
Liquid fuels, which include household heating and lighting oils, were hardest hit.
Prices have risen astronomically over the past year, with inflation hitting 122.6% in May – more than 13 times higher than overall inflation.
Natural gas and town gas: up 98.5%
Inflation for natural gas and town gas was 98.5%, meaning it cost almost double what it was in May 2021.
The majority of UK households use natural gas to heat their homes. It is also used for cooking.
Andrew Forsey, director of the charity Feeding Britain, says he is genuinely concerned that families are being overpriced not only to buy food but also to prepare it – you can watch NationalWorld’s full interview with him about it Price increases in UK supermarkets here.
Electricity: up 53.5%
Electricity prices have also risen sharply over the last year, with prices in May 2022 being 53.5% higher than in May 2021.
This is related to gas inflation as gas is also used to generate electricity.
Diesel: up 37.2%
Motorists with diesel vehicles have experienced a price increase at the pump by 37.2% up to May.
The price of fuel was affected by rising oil prices and the war in Ukraine.
Gasoline: up 30.4%
Gasoline prices were not far behind diesel with inflation at 30.4%.
Rental of garages, parking spaces and private transport: up 27.3%
Motorists are also being hit by increases in parking prices, with prices for garages, parking lots and personal transport rentals increasing by 27.3%.
Personal transportation includes vehicles without a driver – rental cars instead of taxis.
Margarine and other vegetable fats: +26%
Spreads like margarine and other vegetable fats like peanut butter experienced higher inflation than all other foods at 26% in May.
Butter is not one of them.
Garden furniture: up 25.5%
Making the most of the summer weather is costing you a lot more than last year as outdoor furniture prices rose 25.5%.
That was nearly twice the inflation rate for furniture and fixtures as a whole, which was 14.7%.
Holiday centres, campsites, youth hostels and similar accommodation establishments: up 23.8%
Prices for these accommodation services increased by 23.8% year-on-year.
Hotels are in their own category.
Household contents insurance: up 23.8%
Home insurance prices rose by 23.8%.
Used cars: up 23.4%
Used car prices have been inflated for some time, with the CPI coming in at 23.4% in May – although it has fallen from a peak of 31 in March.
Passenger transport by plane: up 21.8%
Not only are holidaymakers facing unprecedented disruption to their journey at airports across the UK, they are also paying more for the privilege.
Prices in May were 21.8% higher than a year ago. This includes domestic and international flights as well as helicopter flights.
Other floor coverings: up 21%
All floor coverings that are not carpets and rugs fall into this category. Examples include vinyl and linoleum.
Prices rose by an average of 21%. This does not include the costs for assembly by a craftsman.
Low-fat milk: plus 19.4%
Low-fat milk includes semi-skimmed, skimmed, ultra-pasteurized, and UHT milks.
Prices rose 19.4% year over year.
NationalWorld has reported how 155,000 families in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are missing out on money from the NHS to help them buy cow’s milk for their children or help them through their pregnancy.
Mineral or spring water: up 18.3%
The price of buying mineral or spring water in May was 18.3% higher than a year ago.
Clothing repair and rental: up 18.3%
Renting clothes or darning, mending, altering or otherwise repairing items would have cost you an average of 18.3% more this May than last,
This does not include the repair of shoes, which is a separate category, nor the cost of raw materials such as thread and needles
Olive oil: up 18%
Olive oil prices, like margarine and vegetable fats, have suffered sustained inflation for months, hitting 18% in May.
This may be due to increased demand due to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the availability of sunflower oil and palm oil are more common substitutes.
Olive oil price increases precede Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Heaters and air conditioners: up 17.3%
The purchase of a heater, air conditioner or similar item such as a humidifier cost you an average of 17.3% more this May than last.
Solid fuels: up 16.6%
Solid fuel prices like coal may not have risen as dramatically as liquid fuel prices, but consumers still faced price increases of 16.6% in May.
Firewood, charcoal, peat, coke, and other similar items also fall under the solid fuel category.
Household furniture: up 16.4%
While prices haven’t risen as much as outdoor furniture, home furniture is still, on average, 16.4% more expensive than a year ago.