TUC general secretary Brendan Barber has said the stubbornness of inflation, combined with poor wage growth, was putting real pressure on people's finances in the run up to Christmas.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis added that the latest figures were the "lull before the storm", saying:
Big increases in energy prices are set to hit in the new year and the cost of feeding a family just keeps on going up. More than a million public sector workers have not had a pay rise for three years and the value of their take home pay just keeps on going down.
More top news
Barack Obama has returned to the political spotlight, campaigning for Democratic candidates ahead of upcoming elections.
The prime minister said there was a "clear and urgent imperative" to give new impetus to stalled negotiations.
Pollution claimed nine million lives in 2015, with air pollution from vehicles and factories accounting for 6.5m deaths, researchers found.