The inflation rate dropped to 3% in December from November’s six-year high of 3.1% – the first fall since June.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said growth in food prices slowed during the month and airline fares rose less strongly than a year earlier.
However, the ONS said it was too early to say whether the fall was the start of a long-term reduction in the rate.
The Bank of England has said it thinks inflation peaked at the end of 2017 and will fall back to 2% this year.
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