The sharp rise in energy prices has served to fuel inflation.
Despite the rise, inflation has not gone up enough to trigger a rise in wages and benefits that are pegged to the retail price index.
Without taking energy prices into consideration, inflation actually fell during December from 1.65% to 1.55%.
The rise in the price of heating oil, vegetables, gas and telecommunications were the main inflationary motors during the past month.
Meanwhile, foreign travel and fruit both fell in price.