Higher food, clothing and second-hand car prices pushed inflation higher last month, official data show.
The Office for National Statistics said its consumer prices index rose from 0.5pc in September to 0.7pc in October, beating analysts’ expectations that it would plateau.
Unlike last year, food prices rose in October as consumers stocked up on potatoes and fruit as health restrictions tightened in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A one-month lockdown was announced for England at the end of the month and started on Nov 5.
The price of computer games also climbed as people stayed home, although the rise was partially offset by falls in the cost of energy and holidays. The jump in the price of IT equipment also reversed from 10.9pc to 6.4pc as supply shortages were filled.
Samuel Tombs, of Pantheon Macroeconomics, said car prices were likely to stabilise soon before falling in the middle of next year as a vaccine becomes widely available.
He noted that some price rises were likely to stick, however, such as train fares and mobile phone contracts, because they are automatically tied to past rates of inflation.
There is also a risk of an inflation spike for services such as airline fares, package holidays and restaurant meals next summer, although again, he said this was likely to be offset by declines in prices for goods such as used cars and electronics.
Paul Dales, of Capital Economics, said the data showed inflation was “well past its low point”.
He added that he expects it will rise more significantly from April when the temporary VAT cut for the hospitality sector ends but it will not spend much time above the Bank of England’s 2pc target unless Britain leaves the EU without a trade deal, which could push inflation to 3.5pc.
Mr Tombs said all this left the “door ajar” for the Bank of England to loosen monetary policy further, if the economic recovery needs more support next year.
Separately, Eurostat data showed eurozone inflation was negative for a third month running last month, the lowest in four years, as energy prices were about 8pc lower than a year before.
Prices rose 0.2pc from September to October, with inflation highest in Slovakia, the Netherlands and Austria.