A sharp drop in energy prices, in particular petrol, is helping to ease cost-of-living pressures in the US.
US inflation was 6.5% over the 12 months to the end of December, down from 7.1% in November, the US Labor Department said.
That was the smallest increase in more than a year, and marked the sixth month in a row that the pace dropped.
Some items such as oranges and bananas even saw outright price falls in December compared with November.
Overall, prices slipped 0.1% over the month, driven by the fall in petrol prices.
In remarks on Thursday, President Joe Biden celebrated the report.
“We’re clearly moving in the right direction,” he said. “It all adds up to a real break for consumers, more breathing room for families.”
But some analysts cautioned that the price relief was not spreading from energy to other items as quickly as hoped.
Clothing prices, for example, rose 0.5% from November to December, and were up 2.9% compared with a year earlier.
“Goods deflation isn’t broadening out quite as quickly as we expected,” wrote Paul Alsworth, chief North America economist for Capital Economics.
Authorities in the US have been fighting to stabilise prices, which took off in 2021 as the economy roared back to life after pandemic lockdowns and companies facing shortages and rising costs hiked prices.
The war in Ukraine, which hit food and energy supplies, made the problem worse, sending inflation to 9.1% in June – the highest rate in more than four decades.