The rate of inflation has increased at its fasted rate on record over the previous month, official figures show.

The Consumer Prices Index inflation rose to 9% in April, up from a high of 7% in March, Office for National Statistics has said.

It was the fastest measured rate since records began in 1989, and the ONS estimates it was the highest since 1982.

A large portion of the rise was due to the price cap on energy bills, which was hiked by 54% for the average household at the start of April.

Grant Fitzner, the chief economist at the ONS, said: “Inflation rose steeply in April, driven by the sharp climb in electricity and gas prices as the higher price cap came into effect.

“Around three-quarters of the increase in the annual rate this month came from utility bills.

“We have also published new modelled historical estimates today which show that CPI annual inflation was last higher 40 years ago.”

A survey by McKinsey, a consultancy firm, found that 61% of households are more conscious about the amount of energy they use at home.

The survey found that rising prices were the biggest concern that respondents had in the UK, followed by the invasion of Ukraine and then Covid.

When will inflation go down?

Rishi Sunak and his Treasury ministers have suggested new measures to help ease cost-of-living pressures are being developed, however, they will not be introduced imminently.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke said the Chancellor will bring forward a programme of measures at a time when they will “make the right difference in a targeted way”.

This comes as the Bank of England has said inflation is likely to peak at 10.25% during the final quarter of 2022.

Matthew Ryan, an analyst at financial services firm Ebury, said that the inflation data might force the hand of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, which sets interest rates.

“If confirmed, this would place huge pressure on the Bank of England to continue raising interest rates at upcoming meetings,” he said.

“Communications from the MPC have turned increasingly dovish and largely muddled in recent weeks, although we think that upcoming inflation prints will likely force the bank’s hand.”

On Monday, the Bank governor, Andrew Bailey, said that, ultimately, high global energy and goods prices would hit demand in the UK and therefore increase unemployment.

“The main driver of inflation and what brings it down is the very big, real income shock which is coming from outside forces and, particularly, energy prices and global goods prices,” Mr Bailey said.