The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 3.5% in March, from 3.4% in February, official figures showed today.
The headline rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation fell to 3.6% in March, from 3.7% in February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The underlying rate of Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation fell to 3.7% in March, from 3.8% in February, the ONS said.
A fall in the number of supermarket promotions saw the rate of inflation unexpectedly rise last month, official figures revealed today, piling more pressure on hard-pressed families.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation rose to 3.5% in March, from 3.4% in February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, halting five months of declines.
Food and non-alcoholic drinks fell 0.5% on the month but this compared with a 1.4% fall last year when supermarkets and other retailers offered a wider range of sales and special offers.
The rise in inflation will rattle Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King and his colleagues, who previously predicted that CPI would fall swiftly back throughout this year to the Government's 2% target.
The Bank will now be less inclined to pump more money into the economy through its quantitative easing programme if inflation continues to remain above target.
Households were squeezed by high prices and sluggish wage growth throughout 2011 and some relief from the high cost of living was expected this year.
The average cost of petrol and diesel at the pump hit a record high in March, up to £1.38 and £1.46 a litre respectively.
However, the ONS said the rise in fuel and lubricants was similar to last year so had little impact on the rise in inflation.
A spokesman for the Treasury said: "Inflation has fallen by a third since September. Most market commentators expect inflation to continue falling later this year, providing ongoing relief for family budgets."