Inflation in Britain is twice as high as in other leading European countries. In fact, families in the UK are facing a bigger squeeze on living standards than most of the Western world.
Britain’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure of 3.4 per cent compares to just 1.1 per cent in Germany, 1.4 per cent in Italy and Spain, and 1.6 per cent in France.
The figures cover the year to March and are compiled by the Organisation for Economic-Co-operation and Development (OECD), which measures inflation across 30 major economies. Only Mexico, Iceland, Hungary, Greece and Turkey have a higher rate of inflation than the UK.
UK food prices have risen more quickly than in other similar economies over the past year.
The annual increase of 2 per cent compares with just 0.1 per cent in Germany, 0.5 per cent in France and zero in Italy. The average price of food actually fell by 7.8 per cent in Ireland.
British householders have also struggled to cope with high energy bills over the winter, which was the longest and coldest for more than 30 years.
The annual energy inflation rate in Britain is put at 8.5 per cent in the year to March. This compares to 4 per cent in Germany and 0.6 per cent in Italy.