Inflation predicted to stay at 2.7pc after energy hikes

Steep energy bill hikes are expected to have kept inflation painfully high in the latest official figures due out today.

Most economists are predicting the benchmark Consumer Prices Index (ONS) to remain at 2.7 per cent for the third month in a row in December after a wave of energy tariff hikes came into effect.

But some experts believe inflation may have even increased further away from the Government’s two per cent target.

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Price increases from four of the “big six” energy suppliers came into effect by the end of December in a winter blow to consumers.

It is thought that this will have been partially offset by lower fuel costs as oil prices have fallen, while food inflation is also likely to be below the 1.4 per cent jump seen a year earlier.

This is not expected to remain the case for long, with food inflation set to soar over the coming months after poor UK harvests caused by poor weather.