LONDON (Reuters) -British consumer price inflation hit an annual rate of 9.0% in April, the highest since official estimates began in the late 1980s, data showed on Wednesday.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 9.1%.

The Office for National Statistics said consumer price inflation was probably last higher sometime around 1982.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak, under pressure to offer more help to households, said countries around the world were being hit by high inflation and the jump in the British data for April reflected last month’s increase in regulated energy tariffs.

“We cannot protect people completely from these global challenges but are providing significant support where we can, and stand ready to take further action,” Sunak said.

Earlier this month the Bank of England forecast inflation would top 10% later this year and investors expect the BoE will add to the four interest rate increases it has done since December which took its Bank Rate to 1%, its highest since 2009.

(Reporting by Andy BruceEditing by William Schomberg)