Inflation reached its highest level for almost a year in December despite food prices remaining at a record low during the month.

The UK inflation rate rose to 0.2% in December, the first time it has exceeded 0.1% since January 2015, according to figures published today by the Office of National Statistics.

The rise was driven by a seasonal spike in transport costs, notably airfares, but was offset by a continued fall in food and clothing prices.

ONS data showed a record low year for inflation with the Consumer Prices Index averaging 0%, the lowest level since 1950. Grocery prices have never been lower since the ONS began collating the data in 1997.

Food prices recorded no change on the previous month and a negligible rise of 0.5% compared to December 2014. Last year saw a significant decline in prices across all categories, notably vegetables.

Fashion pricing

The clothing and footwear sector saw prices fall 1.3% in December compared to the previous month. Prices fell 1.1% year on year.

The report added there has been a “small downward effect” over the year with the main contributions being women’s coats, casual jackets and trousers, skirts, t-shirts, dresses and girl’s fashion tops.

The fall was partially offset by a small rise in the prices of men’s formal shirts and women’s formal trousers.