LONDON, RAW – British inflation surged to its highest in more than nine years last month after the biggest monthly jump in the annual rate in at least 24 years, official data shows.

Consumer prices rose by 3.2 per cent in annual terms in August after a 2.0 per cent rise in July, the highest rate since March 2012, the Office for National Statistics said.

The 1.2 percentage point rise in the annual rate of inflation in the space of a month marked the sharpest such increase since detailed records started in 1997.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 2.9 per cent for August.

The Office for National Statistics said the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme that pushed down the price of restaurant meals in August of last year was the biggest factor behind the rise in inflation this year.