UK inflation surges at fastest rate in 40 years

Good morning.

We start the day with more grim figures on the cost-of-living crisis as UK inflation surged to a 40-year high.

The consumer price index jumped to 9pc in April, up from 7pc the previous month, according to the ONS. While that’s marginally short of forecasts of 9.1pc, it’s still the sharpest one-year jump in prices in 40 years.

April’s steep rise was driven largely by a huge rise in energy bills as the price cap was hiked 54pc.

It’s also likely to get worse. The Bank of England has warned inflation could top 10pc later in the year, when the energy price cap is due to rise again.

It’s the latest sign of the deepening cost-of-living crunch that’s sparked a huge drop in living standards for British families.

5 things to start your day 

1) UK energy exports to Europe hit record levels  Britain is using port capacity for liquified natural gas to help Europe replace supplies from Russia

2) Andrew Neil urges BBC to launch subscription service  Veteran broadcaster suggests charging for Strictly Come Dancing and other hits 

3) Twitter pushes Elon Musk to complete $44bn deal as he calls for SEC investigation  Billionaire escalates row over spam accounts by suggesting US regulator check user numbers 

4) Darktrace executive was part of ‘clique’ behind Britain’s biggest ever fraud  Judge finds that Nicole Eagan was involved in Mike Lynch’s toxic $11bn sale of Autonomy

5) Criminals can remotely unlock and steal your car, Tesla owners warned  British cyber security company claims to have unlocked a vulnerability

What happened overnight 

Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday following a strong start in some markets, which took the lead from Wall Street where traders were cheered by brisk US retail sales data. Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore rose in Wednesday trade, thanks to the rise in New York.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Assura, British Land, Burberry, Experian, Ninety One (full-year results); Future, Premier Foods, TBC Bank (interims); Coats Group (trading update)
  • Economics: Consumer price index (UK), retail price index (UK), producer price index (UK), inflation (EU), building permits (US), housing starts (US)

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