Inflation slowed for the first time in six months in April as price growth was hit by the fall in fuel prices and air fares.

The consumer price index (CPI) dropped to 2.4% last month, compared with 2.8% in March, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In April the only upward pressure came from food and non-alcoholic beverages. Prices increased across most food categories, particularly in vegetables as crops were impacted by the cold UK weather.

The ONS said: “Taking a longer term view, the three main contributors to the 12-month inflation rate in the last five years have been food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing costs (including gas and electricity charges) and transport costs (including motor fuels).

“Combined, these three sectors have, on average, accounted for over half of the of the 12-month inflation rate each month.”

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell to 2.9% in April, from 3.3% in March.