Inflation falls to 12-year low

This compares to 1.3% in October and monthly peaks of 1.9% in both January and June 2014.

If inflation falls below 1% Bank of England governor Mark Carney would have to write a letter of explanation to Chancellor George Osborne.

Inflation was pulled down by a 5.9% reduction in fuel prices for road and air travel and a 1.7% fall in the cost of food.

Chris Williams, chief executive of Wealth Horizon, said: “This latest fall leaves the official inflation rate at its lowest level for more than a decade.

“While this bigger than expected fall is great news for savers, it also pushes back the prospect for any rise in interest rates.”