Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show a slight fall in the annual rate of inflation, from 10.7% in the year to November to 10.5% in December.

The CPIH ­­­– the Consumer Prices Index including housing costs – showed a fall in alcohol and tobacco inflation from 4.2% in November to 3.8% in December.

Average alcohol and tobacco prices actually fell in December, by 1.1%.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said that, despite the fall, the industry was “still experiencing an incredibly tough trading environment”.

She added: “Costs are much higher than previous years and our industry has been operating under duress for months on end as a result.

“Whilst December did deliver a small boost to our industry, profit is still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels because of extortionate costs on everything across entire supply chains.

“Businesses are between a rock and a hard place, they need to cover their costs but the last thing they want to do is push up prices for loyal customers.

“Add to this the recent announcement that energy support for businesses would be greatly reduced, and more rail strikes in February, and there seems to be no end to the challenges our pubs and brewers continue to face.

“We need the Chancellor to deliver long-term interventions for our sector in his spring budget, to help us focus on growth and investment instead of just holding on from one crisis to the next.”