The UK inflation rate fell to 2% in December, from 2.1% the previous month.

Measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the 0.1% drop came primarily from prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, notably fruit and meat.

Food prices have been rising, it said, but at a slower rate than a year ago.

It is the first time inflation has reached the government’s target of 2% since November 2009.

The ONS added that, looking over the longer term, inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages “has outstripped overall inflation in each of the last eight years”.

A basket of shopping that cost £100 in December 2012 would have cost £102 in December 2013.

Petrol and diesel prices rose between November and December 2013 compared with a drop between the same two months a year ago. The first of the expected gas and electricity bill price increases also resulted in a small upward contribution to the CPI.