British inflation ticked down in August despite a rise in oil and fuel costs, data showed on Tuesday, providing the Bank of England with more leeway to inject additional cash into the fragile economy.
The central bank has been hoping that inflation will ease back towards its 2 percent target over the next few months, boosting cash-strapped Britons' spending power and supporting consumption.
Consumer price inflation stood at 2.5 percent last month, down from 2.6 percent in July and in line with economists' forecasts.
Easing price pressures for furniture, health, household services and clothing helped bring the annual inflation rate down, the ONS said.
Apart from upward blips in March and July, inflation has been falling since reaching a high of 5.2 percent last September.
The central bank predicts that inflation will ease below its target by early 2013, but a renewed rise in oil prices and higher commodity costs threaten to push prices up again.
Factory gate inflation picked up again in August and other surveys have also signalled increasing pipeline price pressures.
Bank policymaker Ben Broadbent -- who voted against the current monetary easing round launched in July -- has voiced concerns about underlying inflation pressures.
Still, most economists expect the central bank to increase its purchases of government bonds beyond the so far approved 375 billion pounds, once the current 50 billion-pound round is completed in November.
The RPI inflation -- used for index-linked gilts -- ticked down to 2.9 percent from 3.2 percent in July.
In a separate release, the ONS said that house prices rose 2 percent on the year in July, down from a 2.3 percent increase in June.
(Reporting by Sven Egenter and Olesya Dmitracova)