The price of a weekly supermarket shop, a meal in a restaurant, and a pint in a pub have all increased, as the UK is hit with the highest levels of inflation for 40 years.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation rose to 9pc in the year to April on Wednesday (May 18) as the financial squeeze continues to be felt by many households due to the surge in energy prices.

What is inflation?

Inflation is the term used to describe the increase in prices over time. How quickly those prices go up is called the rate of inflation.

Measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), most of the rise was due to the 54pc hike in the energy price cap, but prices on all but two of the more than 80 items that the ONS tracks rose over the past year.

What about food prices?

According to Retail Price Index figures – which are slightly different to the CPI – the price of unprocessed potatoes dropped 1.2pc in the year to April, while audio-visual equipment became 3pc less expensive.

For everything else prices went up. Overall food prices rose 6.8pc, the figures show, with meats, oils and some animal products especially hit.

The rise across meat categories was clear; lamb was the worst hit, up 14.2pc, followed by poultry up 10.4pc, and beef up 9.8pc, while pork got off with a lighter 4.9pc rise.

Butter prices rose 11.8pc and the price of oils and other fats soared 18.2pc over the last year after fears of a shortage sparked by the war in Ukraine.

The price of fresh milk also rose rapidly, up 13.2pc, while sugar and preserves rose 12.2pc.

Why has beer gone up in price?

Due to shortages caused by rising fuel costs and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which is a major exporter of grain, prices of beer have increased.

The cost of beer is up 4.9pc, while wine has risen 6.2pc. Alcohol prices increased less rapidly in off licences and supermarkets.

What else has experienced a price rise?

Away from food, households were also hit by an 8.1pc extra price on their restaurant bills, while the price of takeaways and snacks rose 6.5pc.

Karen Betts, Food and Drink Federation chief executive, said that the figures are slightly worse than food manufacturers had feared.

“This is a very worrying time for many households, and food and drink businesses are continuing to do everything they can to contain food-price inflation,” she said.

“Ingredient price rises have been relentless for more than a year now, as a result of pressures in the global supply chain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The war in Ukraine, with both Ukraine and Russia important suppliers of commodities like wheat and food oils, as well as energy and fertiliser, has made the situation worse.”