UK consumer cost acceleration remained at 3% in January, the same turn as in December.
The rate, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is close to November’s six-year high of 3.1%.
Most economists were awaiting a tiny tumble in the CPI to 2.9%.
Last week, the Bank of England indicated seductiveness rates competence arise earlier than approaching when it pronounced it wanted to get acceleration closer to 2% within two years rather than three.
Investors have been pricing in a good possibility that rates would arise in May, with a second arise after this year, substantially in November.
Interest rates are now at 0.5%. If the Bank lifted rates in line with marketplace expectations, they would strech 1% by the finish of this year.
The ONS pronounced that nonetheless petrol prices had risen by reduction than this time last year, the cost of entrance to attractions such as zoos and gardens fell some-more slowly.
It said, however, that after rising strongly given the center of 2016, food cost acceleration now seemed to be slowing.
ONS comparison statistician James Tucker said: “Factory products cost acceleration continued to slow, with food prices descending in January. The expansion in the cost of tender materials also slowed, with the prices of some alien materials falling.”
Inflation was given a high boost by the UK’s opinion in 2016 to leave the European Union.
It stirred a tumble in the pound, making alien products some-more expensive.
Chris Williamson, arch economist at Markit, said: “UK acceleration came in aloft than approaching in January, adding serve vigour for policymakers to travel seductiveness rates again, presumably as shortly as May.
“However, with ascent signs of mercantile expansion negligence at the start of 2018, a May rate arise is by no means a finished understanding and will likely be contingent on the information upsurge improving in coming months.”
Samuel Tombs, arch UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, pronounced that information was likely to show inflationary pressures easing: “CPI acceleration still looks set to tumble neatly this year, as the anniversaries of pointy sterling-related rises in core goods, food and appetite prices are met.
“The tumble back in oil prices to $63, from $70 in mid-January, also has brightened the near-term outlook.”
He pronounced this gave the Bank of England “more range than it now envisages to check the next rate hike”.
Mel Stride, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The good news is that acceleration is approaching to tumble this year. We are assisting cut costs for tough pulpy families by boosting pay, slicing taxes for millions of people and frozen fuel avocation at the pumps.”
The ONS reports a series of opposite acceleration measures.
It pronounced the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which is used to calculate payments on supervision bonds, tyro loans and other blurb contracts, edged down to 4% from December’s six-year high of 4.1%.
Its own elite measure, CPIH, which includes housing costs, remained at 2.7% in January, also unvaried from December.