As expected, UK inflation – as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) – rose to an annual rate of 3% in September, now sitting just 0.1 percentage point below the level which compels Bank of England governor Mark Carney to write a letter of explanation to the chancellor of the exchequer.
The headline rate of annual consumer price inflation rose to 3% in September from 2.9% in August data from the Office for National Statistics showed. The core index remained at 2.7%.
Rising prices for clothing and motor fuels were the main contributors again as the persistently weak pound made imports of luxury goods, raw materials and petroleum more expensive.
On Wednesday, labour market data is expected to confirm that annual average wage growth remained at 2.1% in August, adding to the squeeze on household budgets.
"The overshoot, however, entirely reflects a pickup in motor fuel prices and faster import price pass-through by retailers than anticipated, not soaring domestically-generated inflation," said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Indeed, the data released on Tuesday also showed that, mainly due to the weak pound, indications of future inflationary pressures were not diminishing.
At the input level – the cost of raw materials for producers and manufacturers – prices rose by an annual 8.4%, more than the expected 8.2% and the same as August's revised input price rises.
Output prices – also known as factory gate inflation – dipped, however, to 3.3% from 3.4% in August.
Sterling was quick to react, pushing 0.4% higher to €1.1279 against the euro as expectations of a rate hike this year were increased.
"Many in the City fear a rate hike in the current Brexit environment is unwise and will remove what meagre growth we have seen so far this year," said Jacob Deppe, head of trading at Infinox.
“But ultimately, it’s not the job of the Bank of England to manage economic growth and the Bank will come under increasing pressure to raise rates if inflation continues to edge up," he added.
Against the dollar, the pound climbed 0.2% to $1.3280.
Rate sensitive UK gilts fell in price, pushing yields higher. The yield on the three-month and six-month notes rose 0.03 basis points to 0.29% and 0.42% respectively. The 10-year yield dipped 0.01bp to 1.33%.