Consumer price inflation in the UK hit a nine-and-a-half-year high of 3.2% in August, although the figure was boosted heavily by base effects from the previous year.
Nevertheless, the 1.2 percentage point jump from 2% in the headline annual rate recorded a month earlier was the biggest since the consumer price index (CPI) in its current form began in 1997.
Meanwhile, the rise above 3% also requires that the Bank of England governor, responsible for maintaining a target rate of 2%, must write a letter of explanation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
In the letter, Bailey is likely to explain that August's sharp rise in headline CPI was due to large increases in prices for restaurants, hotels and recreation and culture spending – much of this associated with last year's "eat out to help out" government scheme which shaved up to 50% off some dining bills.
Indeed, catering services rocketed by 7.9% in August from 1.4% in July – and is likely to slump in September when the anniversary of the end of the one-month scheme is marked.
"Because eat out to help out was a short-term scheme, the upward shift in the August 2021 12-month inflation rate is likely to be temporary," the Office for National Statistics said in its data release, published on Wednesday.
Many analysts, however, believe that after a brief respite in September, the headline rate of inflation will begin to rise during the fourth quarter as new measures take effect.
In October, UK power regulator Ofgem is due to increase price caps on gas and electricity by 12.2%, while VAT on hospitality and tourism sectors rises from 5% to 12.5%.
And with the Chancellor announcing the next UK Budget for 27 October, there's every likelihood of further tax increases to pay back the pandemic debt – particularly on products such as tobacco and alcohol.
"Accordingly, we think the headline rate will pick up to average 4% in the fourth quarter, and 3.9% in the first three months of 2022. Thereafter, however, the headline rate likely will drop quite quickly," said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Paul Dales, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, added: "A further rise in inflation to at least 4.2% already seems in the bag, but it will fall sharply next year as a lot of these upward influences unwind.
"By the end of 2022, it may be below 2% again. That, and the recent weakening in the near-term activity outlook, explains why we think the MPC [monetory policy committee] won’t raise interest rates until 2023."
The pound was barely moved by the data, indicating investors agreed that the data were unlikely to upset monetary policymakers at the Bank of England. Sterling rose 0.2% to $1.3827 against a weaker dollar but was unmoved versus both the euro and yen.