Inflation eased to 2% in December slipping from 2.1% in November as food and toys kept inflation low.

It is the first time inflation has been at the Government-set target since 2009.

Food prices rose in December at a lower rate than last year and it was the smallest increase since 2006. The largest downwards contributions came from movements for fruit and meat but these were offset by an upward contribution from prices for bread and cereals where the price increase rate speeded up. Over the longer term, inflation for food and non-alcoholic drinks has grown at a faster rate than overall inflation in each of the past eight years.

Downwards movement also came from recreational goods, such as games, toys and hobbies and, in particular, computer games where prices fell at a sharper rate between November and December 2012.

Transport recorded the largest upwards pressure as prices rose at a quicker rate between November and December than the same period last year.