The change resulted from several sources of downward pressure on CPI inflation, notably from the recreation and culture sector, including toys and games, and books.
The only large upward pressure came from clothing and footwear, the ONS says.
In the year to February, Retail Prices Inflation annual inflation was 3.7 per cent, unchanged from January. The main factors affecting the CPI also affected the RPI.
There was also significant upward pressure to the change in the RPI annual rate from the housing market, driven mainly by mortgage interest payments, which fell by 0.2 per cent this year but by 7.3 per cent from the previous year.
Within housing, there was also a large upward effect from house depreciation, which rose this year but fell a year ago, the ONS says.
Britain’s 3.5 per cent inflation rate in January was above the provisional figure for the European Union, which was 1.7 per cent.
Further inflation figures will be published on April 20.