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The inflation rate has jumped to a more-than-expected 0.5% Getty

Inflation has jumped to a more-than-expected 0.5%, according to official figures for June, as rising air fares and petrol prices push up the cost of living.

This rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation is up from 0.3% in May, where it also remained in April, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

These are the first official inflation figures since Britain's referendum on the European Union, although the data comes too early to factor in the plunge in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote.

Much of that was the result of European air travel, possibly connected to the Euro 2016 football tournament in France, the ONS said.

The cost of plane flights jumped by a record 10.9% between May and June, ONS statistician Phil Gooding said.

"The rising cost of European air flights, possibly boosted by Euro football championships, was the biggest reason for this month's increase in inflation," Gooding added.

Inflation has fallen short of the Bank of England's 2% target for two-and-a-half years.

Last year the rate fell to zero, the lowest since comparable records began in 1950. The last time the rate was as high as 0.5% was in November 2014.

In the wake of the country's 23 June Brexit vote the pound slumped to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985.

The Bank of England expects sterling's fall will cause inflation to rise because a weak pound will push up import costs. Bank governor Mark Carney has said it may cut interest rates next month to help cushion an expected economic slowdown.

IHG chief UK and European economist Howard Archer said: "While June's rise in consumer price inflation had little to do with the pound's sharp fall since the vote for Brexit, sterling weakness does look set to increasingly feed through over the coming months to markedly push inflation higher as it raises prices for imported goods and services, oil and commodities."

Archer added: "While the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has stressed the importance of keeping an eye on inflation risks following the vote for Brexit, the rise in consumer price inflation to 0.5% in June is unlikely to deter the Bank of England from pressing ahead with monetary policy stimulus in August given serious concerns and uncertainties about the economic situation and outlook."

Capital Economics UK economist Ruth Miller said: "June's rise should be the start of an upward trend in UK inflation in the wake of sterling's referendum-related slide. Give it a year, and above-target inflation should be back on the cards again."