By Maximilian Clarke

The UK’s consumer prices index (CPI) of inflation has exceeded predictions, surging to 5.2% in September 2011. This represents a 0.7% increase- the largest single monthly gain since 2009.

The retail prices index (RPI) meanwhile edged higher still, reaching 5.8%, though analysts predict the figure has neared its peak and will begin easing off in early 2012.

By far the greatest upwards pressure came from recent rises in gas and electricity prices, though transportation and communication services also added to the rise.

“The news has been full of articles about increasing prices of late;" commented Jeremy Cook, Chief Economist at World First Currency Exchange, "from escalations by utility companies to ‘price wars’ between supermarkets."

“However, I think we are nearing a near-term high in inflation as the increase of VAT falls out of the figures in January.

“I am therefore of the belief that the squeeze on incomes from price rises will start to diminish as we move into 2012, although a consequent bounce in consumer confidence will be held back by a meagre 1.8% increase in wage prices.”

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