Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England (BoE), has warned inflation will be higher than expected this year, following yesterday's unexpected rise in CPI.
Tucker, one of the favourites to replace Mervyn King as BoE governor next year, said inflation might stay above 3% this year, according to the BBC.
The Bank's previous forecast was for the inflation rate to fall to the official 2% target by the end of 2012.
Mr Tucker said he based his prediction on higher energy prices and tax increases in the Budget.
It comes after yesterday's official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a rise in the rate of inflation from 3.4% to 3.5% in March.
Tucker, speaking to a conference of corporate treasurers in Liverpool, described the rate as "uncomfortably above target".
"Easily the [Monetary Policy Committee's] biggest judgment in recent years has been that inflation will gradually fall back to the 2% target," he said.
However, he conceded the short-term course of inflation would now be "a little higher than incorporated into the central projection described in the MPC's February Inflation Report".
He added: "I think inflation might remain above 3% throughout the second quarter of this year, and possibly into the second half of the year."
Regardless of his changed view, Tucker added the Bank would strive to bring inflation back to its 2% target.
"The MPC will ensure that it does return to target and that medium-term inflation expectations are anchored to the target," he said.
"We shall not let that slip."