Food and drink inflation is hitting people in their pockets badly.

The Consumer Prices Index headline rate for March is 9.1% – that’s 0.1% higher than February’s.

The biggest factor in the increase is food and non-alcoholic drink, which is 17.9% more expensive than 12 months earlier.

As a rule of thumb, poorer people spend a larger proportion of their income on food and drink, so the rate of inflation they personally face is higher than the headline figure.

Fruit is 11.6% more expensive, while vegetables set consumers back an extra 15% compared with March 2022. Milk rose by 27.6%.

The price of eggs is 57.8% higher than a year ago, while biscuits and cakes are up 49.9%.

As usual, there are some anomalies. For example, the government’s number crunchers say pork is 39.9% more expensive, while bacon is 7.8% more.

Fuel is another area that’s seen big rises.

Gas is 31.7% more, electricity 28.4%, coal 33.7% and central heating oil 7%.

Last month’s big jump in electricity prices, due to rise again in the summer, aren’t yet reflected in the inflation statistics.

Beer ‘off’ sales are up 5.5%, while it’s 7.1% for wine. Tobacco jumped 9.9%.

As often seems to be the case, there is an anomaly for clothing. While women’s outerwear actually got cheaper (0.8% compared with 12 months earlier). men’s jumped 8.1% and children’s were 9.9% dearer.

While sea travel is up 15.8% and air travel rose 12.4%, the £2 minimum fare saw the cost of bus travel drop by 10.2%.

The return to normal fares this month will change the situation there for April’s figures.

Inflation measured by the Retail Price Index is up 10.8%.