Inflation remained unchanged for the third consecutive month in December, as consumer price inflation (CPI) came in at 2.7 per cent.
Price hikes in gas and electricity bills were the largest upward pressures on the index over the month, with utility costs rising 3.9 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics.
This was offset by a drop in fuel costs of 0.2 per cent.
Stubborn inflation, above the Bank of England's two per cent target since November 2009, is likely to have been a key argument against more quantitative easing to support growth at the bank's monthly policy meeting last week.
Retail price inflation, which includes housing costs, edged up to 3.1 per cent in December, with utility bill increases the largest contributor to the rise.
City A.M. Reporter