UK inflation has hit another 40 year high of 9.1% in May, up from 9% in April.

The slight increase from already record high inflation rate came largely from rising food and non-alcoholic beverage prices, as well as continued shifts in energy prices, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average petrol and diesel prices last month were the highest on record, the ONS said, reaching 165.9p per litre for petrol, compared with 127.2p a year earlier. The 12-month rate for motor fuels was 32.8%, the highest since before the start of the data series in January 1989.

The ONS stated that inflation "would last have been higher around 1982, where estimates range from nearly 11% in January down to approximately 6.5% in December".

An ONS spokesman added that while it does not forecast when prices will come down, the "slowing economy" will take "pressure off prices" over the medium term.

The Bank of England (BoE) implemented a fifth consecutive rate hike just last week, bringing interest rates to 1.25% in an attempt to control inflation that the bank expects to hit 11% in October.

Andrew Tully, technical director, Canada Life said: "Today's inflation numbers will leave households across the UK reeling from the spiralling cost of living increases. With inflation expected to peak into double-digits later in the year, this cloud has no silver lining.

"Research tells us people are already changing their behaviours and tightening their belts, but the inflation peak, when it comes, only tells half the story. How long inflation remains high will determine our living standards for years to come."

Paul Craig, portfolio manager at Quilter Investors, added: "While the rate of growth in the inflation rate may have slowed, we have plenty warnings that this is not the peak.

"While the US has acknowledged the need to go hard and fast on interest rates, the Bank of England continues to plod along at a slower pace, trying not to tip the economy into recession at a time when businesses and consumers are feeling the pinch. However, their current strategy is doing little to stop inflation running away from it and thus harder decisions are coming very soon with the Bank already hinting at a larger rise at its next meeting.

"Whether or not the Bank can avoid a hard landing remains a moot point while oil prices remain elevated, utility bills show no sign of falling and price rises continue to get passed on to the end consumer. Furthermore, the geopolitical situation shows no sign of abating either, which touches inflationary pressures the Bank cannot reach."

Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, commented that a "battle" was afoot to try and keep inflation "in check" and so far the BoE was falling behind.

She said that last week's rate rise "[were] designed to discourage spending and borrowing and encourage saving. That could be optimistic considering 58% of UK adults said last month that day to day costs, like paying bills and for food, was currently their top financial priority.

"The pressure from increased costs means people have already adjusted their spending in order to cope with the cost of living squeeze. The worry is prices will continue to rise to 11%, later this year, which will put further pressure on many people's budgets."