Inflation falls to 4.8pc

The (CPI) inflation figure in the UK fell to 4.8 per cent in November, down from five per cent the month before, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell to 5.2 per cent from 5.4 per cent.

The fall was partly due to a slowdown in the rise in food and non-alcoholic drink prices.

The Bank of England said earlier this year that it expected the rate of inflation to drop in 2012 as prices fall back and the impact of the government's increase in VAT is no longer felt.

The lower rate of inflation bolsters expectations the central bank will have scope to provide additional stimulus to the sluggish economy next year.