"This reflected the imposition of a new cap on Standard Variable Tariffs, which was 6% below prior average levels".
Economists in a Reuters poll predicted retail inflation would edge up to 2.48 percent in January from the downward revised December figure of 2.11 percent.
"The further falling back in inflation facilitates the Bank of England maintaining a "wait and see" approach on interest rates until after the United Kingdom leaves the EU", Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club consultancy, said. They expect the Office for National Statistics to announce at 9.30am that the headline CPI rate slipped to 1.9 per cent, largely thanks to easing energy inflation.
The CPI including owner-occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) - the ONS's preferred measure of inflation - was 1.8 per cent in January, down from 2 per cent in December.
The consumer price index fell to 1.8% in January, from 2.1% previously, when economists had looked for a decline to only 1.9%.
Alongside the inflation data the ONS is also slated to publish its official house price index.
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He said: "Lower inflation in January reinforces the recent improvement in consumer purchasing power following firmer earnings data".
The Bank of England said this month that United Kingdom economic growth will likely slow further in 2019 given weakening demand from overseas and a period of increased "Brexit uncertainty" that are expected to reduce activity in the UK. It softened to 5.4 percent in January, according to economists at Yes Bank Ltd. and Axis Bank Ltd. Pranjul Bhandari, chief India economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, sees it slowing to as low as 4 percent this year.
Economists said it facilitated the Bank's "wait and see" approach on interest rate hikes ahead of Britain's departure from the EU.
"With inflation fairly well behaved, the Bank will also have the ability to support the economy by cutting interest rates if there were a no deal Brexit", says Capital Economics's Wishart.
"Waning UK business investment, and potential short-term financing difficulties for many SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in the event of a no-deal Brexit, will require the Bank of England to keep rates low this year, and the latest inflation figures provide the MPC ( the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee) with a mandate to do that".
United Kingdom inflation rose from 0.5% in June 2016 to 3.1% by November 2017 and core inflation increased from 1.4% to a peak of 2.7%.