The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation hit 1.8% last month, up from 1.6% in December, marking its highest level since June 2014.
However, the move came in shy of the Bank of England’s 2% target and economists’ expectations of 1.9%.
Separate figures for the Producer Price Index (PPI) showed that input prices – the amount paid for materials and fuel by UK manufacturers – saw its highest rate of growth since September 2008, rising 20.5% in January.
Sterling’s slump against the US dollar and the euro since the EU referendum result, coupled with rising oil prices, also caused import prices to leap 20.2% over the period, the ONS said.
Ballooning import prices triggered by the Brexit-hit pound are expected to push up everyday prices as companies pass their soaring costs to consumers.