Inflation rose to 3.2% last month from 2% in July – its largest ever recorded increase, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation for August was the highest since March 2012, though the ONS said much of the effect was likely to be temporary.
That was because a rise in restaurant and cafe prices last month compares to a period last year when they fell as a result of discounts offered under the government's ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.
Transport costs also made a big impact, with petrol prices at their highest since September 2013.
Rising food prices helped pushed inflation higher too, with the ONS saying this was due to ‘shortages of supply chain staff and increased shipping costs, coupled with demand increases following the lifting of national lockdowns’.
The increase of 1.2 percentage points between the July CPI rate and the August CPI reading was the biggest on record, the ONS said.