The Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 1.6% in December.
The December rate was the highest for more than two years, up from 1.6% in July 2014, the Office for National Statistics said.
Air fares and the price of food and motor fuel were the main contributors to the increase in December. Prices for clothing and footwear increased by 0.02% in December compared to the previous year, according to the CPI.
Yesterday Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said that UK consumers will face headwinds this year as spending could be hit by rising prices from the weaker pound.