Inflation surges to 2.3% - highest level since September 2013

The jump in the consumer prices index takes inflation above the Bank of England's 2% target and is above the 2.1% reading investors had been expecting. That was actually a bigger rise than economists polled before the release expected. Food prices rose 0.3pc last month having fallen consistently for the past two and a half years.

However, average prices at food stores have seen their largest increase since April 2013, rising 0.5% in January, the Office for National Statistics said.

ONS also reported the new measure of CPIH, which includes housing, also rose to 2.3% from 1.9%, beating the forecast for 2.2%.

"Typically higher inflation has been bearish sterling to the extent that it pushes United Kingdom real yields lower", said Sam Lynton-Brown, currency strategist at BNP Paribas. "Fuel prices tend to reflect movements in global oil prices and part of the increase in oil prices during 2016 to date can be explained by depreciation of sterling against the United States dollar".

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Prices started to pick up following the Bank of England's decision to cut interest rates in the aftermath of the UK's vote to leave the European Union, and the fall in the value of the pound.

Food is becoming more expensive as producers begin to pass down soaring import costs triggered by the pound's slump since the European Union referendum result.

"As the committee has previously noted, there are limits to the extent that above-target inflation can be tolerated", the Bank said.

The UK gilts slid Monday, following expectations of a rebound in the country's consumer price inflation (CPI) for the month of February.

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