Inflation remains unchanged at 8.7% in the 12 months to May – despite hopes it would fall.

This figure is the same that was recorded in April. Crucially, it doesn’t mean prices have stopped rising – they are still going up, just at a slightly slower rate.

Experts had predicted inflation would fall to 8.4%, heaping pressure on the Bank of England when it announces its latest interest rates decision tomorrow.

But Mayor Norris made the point that any rate rise is likely to pile even more pressure on mortgage-holders in the West of England as rates are already at close to 15-year highs.

He is urging ministers to set out plans to support homeowners struggling with spiralling costs. The Chancellor yesterday ruled out mortgage bill support and other measures to bring down food prices.

Another measure of inflation – so-called ‘core inflation’ – also unexpectedly rose to 7.1%, the highest in over 30 years, which analysts say could spook the markets, and is closely followed by the Bank.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This really worrying news that inflation is stuck high will be of grave concern to West of England families facing soaring bills.“It shows ministers are failing miserably to take the action necessary to bring down sky-high costs for West locals – which is hitting the weekly shop and mortgages hard. People are getting poorer; the Tories aren’t working. While ministers’ strategy seems to be ‘sit on your hands and hope things blow over’, I urge the Chancellor to ensure West of England residents do not pay the price for the Government’s failures by losing their homes.”

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