The UK´s consumer price index (CPI) registered a rise of 0.5 per cent month-on-month (1.7 per cent year-on-year) in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
That followed a reading of 1.9% in the month before and marked a 52-month low.
Nevertheless, it was exactly in line with the consensus estimate.
The latest reading follows an unrevised fall of 0.6% (+1.9% year-on-year) in the month before.
The largest contributions to the fall in the annual rate came from the transport sector (principally motor fuels), which subtracted 1.3 percentage points from the estimated rate of change, alongside other smaller effects from the housing & household services (-0.06 percentage points) and clothing & footwear sectors (-0.06 percentage points).
These were partially offset by upward contributions from furniture & household goods and recreation & culture.
The fall in energy prices was stronger than that expected by Barclays Research (-2.2 percentage points to 0.6% year-on-year), which offset a "surprisingly strong outturn in core prices".
Core inflation moves higher
Core consumer prices - which exclude energy, food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco - accelerated slightly, gaining by 0.7% over the month and 1.7% on the year.
In comparison with the previous month, the largest drop in prices was seen in those of alcoholic beverages (-0.9%), while gains were seen in those for clothing (1.1%), furniture (2.4%), recreation (0.8%) and restaurants and hotels (0.4%).
MPC still on track to raise rates in second quarter of 2015, Barclays says
Commenting on the implications of the above data, Barclays Research said:
"All in all, measured wage growth, a slower pace of labour market normalisation than previously, combined with downside input price pressures, are likely to provide some further comfort to the MPC that inflation pressures are not yet building up in the economy despite the recovery gathering speed.
"Such macroeconomic conditions should be consistent with an unchanged loose monetary policy stance in the coming quarters. Our baseline scenario remains that the MPC will hike rates in the second quarter of 2015."
The retail price index (RPI) proved more resilient, declining by 0.1% over the month to a 2.7% year-on-year pace, thanks to the firmness in house prices feeding through, the broker explained.
For its part, Capital Economics believes February's drop in the CPI largely reflected firms passing on recent falls in commodity prices to consumers, which they expected to fall towards 1% or so later this year.
The reasons for that are past declines in agricultural prices feeding through, soon to come price cuts at supermarkets and by at least two more utility companies and a decrease in import prices as a result of the stronger pound.