CPI inflation rose to 3.5 per cent in March from 3.4 per cent in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation fell slightly to 3.6 per cent from 3.7 per cent reports the BBC.
The ONS said that food and soft drink prices were 4.6 per cent higher than in March 2011, when deep discounting took place in supermarkets.
It cited higher prices for bread, cereals, meat, fruit and vegetables in particular.
Clothing, footwear, DVDs and computer games also contributed to the rise.
However, gas and electricity prices were lower than a year ago after energy companies cut tariffs in February this year, whereas they raised them in February 2011.
The inflation figures measure the rate at which prices are rising compared with the same month a year ago.
The Bank of England’s target for inflation is 2 per cent on the CPI measure.