Inflation remains unchanged for a fourth month
The rate has remained unchanged for the past four months - the longest period it has remained flat, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The chief inflationary pressures were attributed to alcohol and air fares.
MGM Advantage, the retirement income specialist, says with inflation remaining at 2.7%, UK households collectively need to find an extra £17.7 billion a year to maintain their standard of living enjoyed 12 months ago.
That means each household will typically need to spend an extra £678 a year.
Aston Goodey, distribution and marketing director at MGM Advantage, says: "Households are already at financial breaking point, but with inflation remaining stubbornly at 2.7% for four months in a row, people will continue to feel the strain from rising costs."
The inflation rate as measured by the retail prices index - which includes housing costs - was 3.3% in January 2013, up from 3.1% in December.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).
The Consumer Price Index is the official measure of inflation adopted by the government to set its target. When commentators refer to changes in inflation, they’re actually referring to the CPI. In the June 2010 Budget, Chancellor announced the government’s intention to also use the CPI for the price indexation of benefits, tax credits and public sector pensions from April 2011. (See also Retail Prices Index).