The rate of consumer price inflation fell in February, ONS data showed.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) was up 3% in the month, compared to 3.5% in January, while the Retail Prices Index (RPI) was unchanged at 3.7%.

Games, toys and hobbies comprised one of the biggest downward pressures on CPI inflation as many prices fell, in contrast to a rise this time last year.

Prices of furniture and household goods – especially major appliances and small electrical goods - rose by less than they did a year ago, as did food, helped by downward pressure from bread, cereals and vegetables.

Clothing and footwear was the only large upward contributor to the CPI. The ONS said: “Within this division, the most significant upward effect came from women’s outerwear where, overall, prices rose by more than a year ago.”

Analyst Capital Economics said the figures “should provide some reassurance that, beneath the special factors that have affected inflation in recent months, underlying price pressures in the UK economy remain encouragingly subdued.”