Lower food prices made a large contribution towards the biggest month-on-month fall in annual inflation for over a decade, according to official Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures produced today (18 November).

They showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) annual inflation fell to 4.5% in October, down from 5.2% in September; the biggest drop since CPI records began in January 1997. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation also experienced its largest slow-down, falling from 5% in September to 4.2% in October.

While the main reason for the fall was lower fuel prices and transport costs, the ONS said decreases in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages had made an important contribution.

In particular, meat inflation fell to 14.3% in October, from 19.1% in September, with prices for a range of pork and beef products falling following discounting in supermarkets. Over the same period, bread and cereals inflation fell from 15.7% to 14%, while milk, cheese and eggs inflation increased slightly from 11.7% to 12.8%.