Annual inflation has inched higher to 1.8 per cent for the December quarter – and at least one analyst expects the Reserve Bank will delay a rate cut.

The annual inflation level climbed 0.1 per cent on the September figures, which the RBA board may consider when it meets on Tuesday.

The 1.8 per cent figure is just below the Reserve’s preferred 2.0 to 3-0 per cent range.

The rise for the quarter was 0.7 per cent, greater than the 0.5 per cent of the previous three months.

BIS Oxford Economics chief economist Sarah Hunter said the data was in line with expectations and followed strong employment figures.

“It’s unlikely that we’ll see a cut in the cash rate on Tuesday,” she said.

Tobacco (8.4 per cent), domestic holidays, travel and accommodation (7.3 per cent) recorded the greatest price rises, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.

The drought is causing Australians to pay more at the supermarket.

The price of fruit increased by 6.8 per cent this quarter due to the drought and lower seasonal supply.

Food prices were up 1.3 per cent for the period.

Pork (4.7 per cent), beef and veal (2.9 per cent), and cheese (2.4 per cent) had the biggest price rises.