Inflation rose by 1.8% in January to its highest rate since June 2014, while 74% of consumers noticed a rise in prices, latest figures reveal.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data revealed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in January increased from 1.6% in the year to December.
The ONS cited the rise in the price of motor fuel and, to a lesser extent, food prices as the main drivers behind the higher rate of inflation.
It said the recent strong downward from food prices has lessened considerably over the last four months. The 12-month inflation rate for food stood at -0.4% in January 2017, the highest since June 2014. Food price were unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017.
Meanwhile, the latest GfK GB Inflation Watch found that 74% of consumers surveyed in January think prices have risen over the past 12 months, up 22% on the previous year.
The same percentage (74%) of respondents expect prices to rise in the coming 12 months, while 34% expect prices to increase more rapidly.
Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: “The fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has fuelled speculation among both business leaders and consumers alike that we will see accelerated price inflation filter through to the high street this year.
“Consumers have already been hit by higher food and energy prices because the weakness of sterling is raising prices and reducing consumer spending power. This has affected a range of typical purchases from Marmite to Majorca summer holidays.
“A third (34%) of GB shoppers anticipate rapid rises across a wider range of goods will impact spending, making us all even savvier in comparing prices for every day purchase decisions. This is good news for brands that represent value-for-money in consumers’ hearts, wallets and minds, but does it mean tough times ahead for everyone else?”