Hikes in energy bills and tuition fees are behind the high rate, as well as air fares and a recovery in alcohol and food prices.
Figures from the British Retail Consortium suggest the high street performed far better than expected, driven by heavily discounted clothes and shoe prices over the Christmas period.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said that the weak pound was also a factor.
More top news
A decades-long ban on photography during official tours around the White House has been lifted, officials have announced.
Highs rising to the mid 30s across southeast England and well above average elsewhere in the UK.
England have selected leg spinner Adil Rashid in their 13-man squad to face Australia in the First Test at Cardiff.