British 12-month inflation jumped to 2.9 percent in June from a rate of 2.7 percent the previous month, official data showed on Tuesday.
Analysts' consensus forecast had been for a rise in the 12-month rate to 3.0 percent, according to a poll by Dow Jones Newswires.
"The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 2.9 percent in the year to June 2013, up from 2.7 percent in May," the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
"The largest upward contributions to the change in the rate came from motor fuels and clothing and footwear. The largest downward contribution came from air transport," the ONS added.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI fell 0.2 percent in June. Analysts had forecast a drop of 0.1 percent.
The Bank of England's main task is to use monetary policy as a tool to keep annual inflation close to a government-set target level of 2.0 percent, in order to preserve the value of money.
However, the annual CPI rate has held stubbornly above the target since November 2009.
Britain is a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone, so retains control over its central bank monetary policy.