Inflation rose to 1.8% in January – its highest level since June 2014 – with rising food and fuel prices pushing up the cost of living.
The figure is just shy of the Bank of England’s 2% target, but marks a 0.2% increase from December 2016 as well as a fourth consecutive month of price growth.
According to the ONS, the rise in CPI was mainly due to increasing petrol and diesel prices, along with a significant slowdown in the fall of food prices.
A weakened pound also contributed to the spike, the ONS said – meaning inflation is now at a two-and-a-half year high.
Meanwhile, both house prices and rents in the UK continued to grow throughout 2016, despite signs of a slowdown in recent months.