Wages should begin to grow with the economy, setting the stage for living standards to improve, but there is a lot of ground to make up.
Figures on rising private sector wages are politically explosive and could change the debate on the economy.
It might not feel it - the country is still emerging from a six year downturn - but the numbers are puzzlingly good.
Lower petrol prices helped inflation fall to a new four-year low of 1.7% in February, official figures showed today.
It marks the fifth monthly slowdown in a row.
Petrol prices dropped 0.8p per litre between January and February this year, compared with a 4p rise for the same period in 2013.
The Consumer Prices Index rate fell from 1.9% in January as it continued to fall short of the Bank of England's target of 2%, the Office for National Statistics said. CPI has not been lower since October 2009, when it stood at 1.5%.
The fall in inflation to 1.7% was widely predicted and suggests private sector pay growth - which was also 1.7% in the three months to January - has already caught up.
However, total wages are only rising by 1.4%, with ordinary public sector workers seeing a rise of just 0.9%, according to the latest figures.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has welcomed the fall in inflation:
Inflation falls to 1.7% in Feb – another sign that our long term plan is working. Eases the pressure on family budgets #strongereconomy
The rate of Retail Price Index inflation fell to 2.7% in February from 2.8% the month before, the Office for National Statistics said.
The rate of Consumer Price Index inflation fell to 1.7% in February from 1.9% in January, official figures showed today.
David Cameron has hailed the "good news" on economic recovery after the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said it believed the UK will grow by 2.8% this year.
The director general of the British Chamber of Commerce has said that UK businesses are "expanding and creating jobs".
John Longworth said: "Our economic recovery is gaining momentum. Businesses across the UK are expanding and creating jobs, and our increasingly sunny predictions for growth are a testament to their drive and ambition."
The BCC expects the first increase in interest rates will happen in the autumn next year - one quarter earlier than previously envisaged, before rising to 1.5% in the second half of 2016. GDP will be 2.5% next year and in 2016.
The UK economy will exceed its pre-recession peak by the summer, according to upgraded forecasts from a leading business lobby group today.
The British Chambers of Commerce now believes the UK will grow by 2.8% this year and that the second quarter will see gross domestic product climb back to the level seen in the first quarter of 2008.
A year ago amid a much gloomier picture for the economy, the BCC predicted the pre-recession peak would not be reached until 2016, although a number of revisions brought this forward to the third quarter of 2014 in December.
Ministers have announced a multi-million pound fund to help create jobs and apprenticeships in seaside towns, including areas hit by flooding.
Fifty different projects will share a pot of £27.7m, which the Treasury said would help create 4,000 jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships and training places.
Among the new schemes is a £1.3m project to develop tourism in Southend and a £300,000 investment in a new technology centre in Hull.
The economy grew by 0.7% during the final quarter of 2013, unrevised from the preliminary estimate, the Office for National Statistics said today.
Energy prices used to get the blame for pushing up inflation but not this month.
Small rises from some energy companies were cancelled out by the removal of green taxes.
Looking at the detail of the components of inflation usually gives some insight in which way the wind is blowing but this month things look to have ground to a halt.
Prices have fallen for peculiar things like "cultural events" - winter prices are lower at some attractions and DVDs.
Upward pressure came from baby wipes and toothbrushes. I¹m not making this up.
Reading the runes in that mix would be very hard except perhaps the very lack of direction tells us that inflation will stay where it is for some time.