Inflation Drops Below Bank Of England Target
Inflation has fallen below the 2% target set by the Bank of England for the first time in more than four years.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the drop to 1.9% in January was the seventh monthly fall in a row.
It said the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), now at its lowest since November 2009, dropped from 2% in December.
The continued run of falling inflation is good news for consumers and workers, after a period of elevated inflation.
If inflation continues to fall throughout 2014 it will allow wage growth to outpace it, giving workers more purchasing power during a period of salary stagnation.
Below-target CPI has also given the bank more space to consider a base rate rise, even though the headline Retail Prices Index rose 0.1% to 2.8% in the period.
Currently at an historic low 0.5%, the BoE base rate directly impacts on home loan interest rates.
Last week, the BoE boosted its growth forecast for the UK from 2.8% to 3.4% in 2014.
Falling inflation and economic growth capacity have allowed it to keep rates low despite the benchmark guide of unemployment dropping to 7% being reached.
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter: "Today's fall in inflation is more evidence our long-term economic plan is working. We want to ensure a secure future for hard-working people."
The ONS said energy price rises announced late last year had little impact on the rate in January, as the hikes were countered by Government reductions in environmental levies.
It said a key driver for reduced inflation was put down to DVD film costs continuing to fall and entrance fees being slashed for a range of cultural attractions.
Furniture, household goods, and smaller rises in alcohol and tobacco prices were also cited as factors by the ONS.
House prices rose by 5.5% in the 12 months to December, up from 5.4% in November.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.