For the first time in nearly six years, average wages are rising faster than inflation.
Slowly but surely the Consumer Price Index is falling, and inflation is now at the lowest level since 2009. Why does that matter?
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.
- The largest contribution to the rate fall came from lower petrol prices, utility bills and clothing and footwear
- Furniture and household goods became more expensive
- Books were 6.6% dearer on the year
- Tablet computers and printers were more expensive
- Inflation in food and non-alcoholic drinks fell to 1.8%
- CPIH - a new measure of inflation - fell to 1.6%, down from 1.8% in January
- RPIJ fell to 2%, down from 2.1% in January.
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.
Inflation is set to dip below the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time in more than four years, because retailers have slashed prices alongside lower fuel costs.
Many economists believe official figures today will reveal a fall in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to 1.9% last month from 2% in December, which will mark the first time inflation has dropped below the target since November 2009.
It follows last month's aggressive discounting by food and general merchandise retailers, with high streets seeing widespread deflation.
ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has tweeted:
Given we are still waiting on Low Pay Commission for its recommendation on Minimum Wage - Osborne's words mean nothing. Positioning. Is all
Is Low Pay Commission's job to advise on how far Min Wage can rise without affecting employment. Due mid-Feb. Osborne trying to get credit
The minimum wage could rise to £7 an hour by 2015, Chancellor George Osborne has told the BBC. Osborne said the "economy can now afford" an above-inflation rise. The current minimum wage stands at £6.31 for people aged over 21.