The latest figures from the Bank of England reveal the UK’s rate of inflation to have leapt to 3% in December.
The increase in the Consumer Prices Index is a rise from 2.7% in November.
A rise had been widely touted after the Bank of England’s decision last week to rise interest rates to 5.25%.
Retail Price Index inflation, meanwhile, which included mortgage interest payments, rose to 4.4% in December from 3.9% the previous month.
The rise means the Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, is now obliged to write to chancellor Gordon Brown to explain why he failed to keep inflation below its target range of less than 3%.