The September 2011 CPI figure released today shows inflation at 5.2 %. This figure is important as it is the September figure which is the basis for increases in most benefits the following April.

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The rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation in the UK matched its record high in September, rising to 5.2% from 4.5% the month before.
An increase in energy costs was behind a large proportion of the rise.
The 5.2% rate is the highest CPI measure since September 2008, and it has never been higher since the CPI measure was introduced in 1997.

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) - which includes mortgage interest payments - rose to 5.6% from 5.2%.

The latest RPI measure is the highest annual rate since June 1991.
The Office for National Statistics, which released the data, said in a statement: "​By far the largest upward pressure to the change in CPI... came from increases in gas and electricity charges.

"​There were also large upward pressures from air transport and communication services."​

Bills for gas, electricity and other fuels were up 18.3% on the year, while transport costs rose 12.8%. Food prices were 6% higher than last year.
The CPI measure is way ahead of the Bank of England'​s target rate of 2%. However, Bank governor Mervyn King still expects inflation to begin falling next year, once factors such as January'​s VAT rise drop out of the equation.

Pensioners But the rise in the cost of living highlights the risk of the Bank'​s latest move to revive the economy through further quantitative easing, which could help to stoke inflation.

September'​s CPI is key because it will be used to set the amount by which the state pension and Jobseekers'​ Allowance will rise next April.


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