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Inflation drops to 2.1 per cent

The consumer prices index (CPI) rate of inflation fell to 2.1 per cent in November, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Down from 2.2 per cent in October, the CPI rate is now the lowest since November 2009 and is just 0.1 per cent away from the Bank of England's target rate of two per cent.

The ONS said that the energy and food - particularly fresh fruit and vegetables - sectors were responsible for the fall. This was offset by upward pressures from prices in the transport and recreation and culture sectors.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"The small fall in inflation will help ease the pressure felt by businesses and consumers at a time when earnings are still rising by less than one per cent.

"However inflation remains a concern for many businesses, and imminent energy rises may add to inflationary pressures in the months ahead. The UK's rate of inflation remains higher than many other major economies, and is considerably higher than the US and the eurozone. The Monetary Policy Committee must continue with its two-pronged approach of providing forward guidance on low interest rates alongside keeping inflation low, to provide a stable backdrop for businesses to drive a sustainable recovery."