THE consumer prices index rate of inflation rose to 7.0% in March 2022, from 6.2% in February, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics this morning. This was higher than a consensus expectation among City economists of 6.7% and is the highest annual inflation rate since March 1992.
Meanwhile, the CPI monthly rate for March 2022 was 1.1%, compared with 0.3% in March 2021. The ONS said the biggest contributor to rising inflation was transport, with average petrol prices rising by 12.6p per litre between February and March, the largest monthly rise since records began in 1990.
Chirag Shah, CEO and Founder of Nucleus Commercial Finance, commented: “While predictions have been swirling for some time, today’s significantly high inflation rates will come as a further blow to UK SMEs. Indeed, the dual impact of Brexit and the pandemic already has, and in part continues, to cause significant supply chain disruption – and these record-high inflation rates do nothing to help preserve strong growth.
“Identifying the biggest cash drains and making a watertight plan to ride out the next few volatile months should be a top priority for UK businesses. Increased government support via the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS), as well as better awareness of specialist lenders who can offer financial security is vital if businesses are to thrive in both the months and years ahead.”