Nearly 90% of British adults reported an increase in the cost of living last month, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Monday.
According to the ONS’s latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, 87% of respondents said their cost of living had increased between 16 to 27 March over the previous month, up from the 62% who reported a rise in November 2021.
Nearly a quarter said they had found it “very difficult or difficult” to pay their usual household bills compared to a year ago, while of those who paid energy bills, 43% reported that they had found them hard to pay.
As a result, 17% of respondents reported borrowing more money than they did a year previously, while more than half – 54% – said they were spending less on non-essential goods and services.
The ONS said there had now been a steady rise in the number of adults reporting an increase in the cost of living since November. The main reasons were increases in the price of food, higher energy bills and more expensive fuel.
Inflation is currently running at 7% in the UK, the highest rate for 30 years. Although prices have been rising steadily over the last year, they spiked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with food and energy prices in particular affected.
Household bills then further came under pressure after Ofgem raised the price cap on energy bills, and National Insurance contributions went up.