The rise comes after three consecutive months of slowing, driven by dining out and food price rises.
After revealing that Consumer Prices Index inflation hit 10.4% in February, ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner said: “Inflation ticked up in February, mainly driven by rising alcohol prices in pubs and restaurants following discounting in January.
“Food and non-alcoholic drink prices rose to their highest rate in over 45 years with particular increases for some salad and vegetable items as high energy costs and bad weather across parts of Europe led to shortages and rationing.
“These were partially offset by falls in the cost of motor fuel, where the annual inflation rate has eased for seven consecutive months.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said that “falling inflation isn’t inevitable”, following the latest inflation figures.
The rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation rose to 10.4% in February from 10.1% in January, according to the ONS.
“Falling inflation isn’t inevitable, so we need to stick to our plan to halve it this year,” the Chancellor said.
“We recognise just how tough things are for families across the country, so as we work towards getting inflation under control we will help families with cost-of-living support worth £3,300 on average per household this year.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “The reality is that under this Tory Government, families are feeling worse off and nothing is working better than it did 13 years ago.
“The cost-of-living crisis is still biting hard and taxes are rising, yet the Government chose to use the Budget to hand a £1 billion bung to the top 1%.
“Labour will stand with working people and with our mission to secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, make families across every part of our country feel better off.”
Alpesh Paleja, the CBI’s lead economist, said that “while inflation rose in February, the outlook for the months ahead is looking more benign”.
“But while we expect inflation to fall back over this year, the firmness in domestic price pressures is something that the Bank of England will be keeping a close eye on.
“This year will still be a high-inflation environment for both households and businesses.”