The UK's headline rate of inflation fell to 2% in December, meeting the government-set target for the first time since November 2009, official figures show.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) dropped from 2.1% in November to meet the Bank of England's long-term target, the latest reading from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.
The drop confounded most economists who had forecast it remaining at 2.1%.
Meanwhile, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) rose to 2.7% from 2.6% in November.
Falls in utilities and food prices over the last few months have helped bring inflation down, according to the ONS, with last month's fall again driven by these factors.
UK CPI has dropped from 2.9% in the Summer.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said the numbers indicated "the government's long-term economic plan is working".
"But the job is not done and times remain tough for many people," it added. "So an important part of the government's plan is helping hardworking people be more financially secure by increasing the tax-free personal allowance and freezing fuel duty and council tax".
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