Official data released on Wednesday showed that British consumer price inflation jumped more than predicted to 5.4% in December, the highest level in nearly 30 years, putting pressure on the Bank of England to hike interest rates again next month.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the increase in CPI to its highest level since March 1992 reflected a wide range of goods and services, with food and drink having the greatest impact, followed by restaurants and hotels.

However, the economic disruption caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant in December had only a little impact on the headline rate of inflation.

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The Bank of England became the world's first major central bank to raise interest rates since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last month, a day after November CPI hit a 10-year high.

Rising inflation is also posing a political issue for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, which is under pressure from the opposition and charities to offset a 50% increase in regulated household energy costs in April.

"I understand the pressures people are under due to rising living costs, and we will continue to listen to people's concerns," finance minister Rishi Sunak said.

The BoE predicts that CPI will reach a 30-year high of roughly 6% in April as a result of increased energy bills, and that it will take more than two years for CPI to return to its objective of 2%.

The core CPI, which excludes often volatile food, energy, alcohol, and tobacco prices, increased to a record 4.2% in December, up from 3.9% in November, according to data released on Wednesday.