Economists believed this fall, unveiled yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), might help calm fears in financial markets about inflation proving a barrier to the Bank of England's commitment not to raise UK base rates until the unemployment rate falls below 7%.
The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee said last month that it did not intend to raise base rates from their record low of 0.5% - at which they have stood since March 2009 - at least until the International Labour Organisation measure of unemployment had fallen to a "threshold" of 7%. It projected this would not happen until 2016.
This forward guidance is subject to "knockouts" relating to inflation and financial stability.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at consultancy IHS Global Insight, said: "August's dip in inflation will be well received by the Bank of England as it supports hopes that consumer price inflation is near to peaking, and may even have done so.
"This may slightly reduce market expectations that the Bank of England could raise interest rates as soon as early 2015 or even late 2014, although the markets' views are currently being driven by the economy's much-improved growth performance and belief that the unemployment rate will get down to 7% well before the Bank of England forecasts."
The Bank said last month that its guidance linking base rates to the unemployment threshold would cease to hold if, in the MPC's view, it were more likely than not that CPI inflation, 18 to 24 months ahead, would be 0.5 percentage points or more above the 2% target set by the Treasury, or if medium-term inflation expectations no longer remained sufficiently well anchored.
Samuel Tombs, UK economist at consultancy Capital Economics, said: "August's fall in CPI inflation marks another step towards the 2% rate we think it could reach early next year. An end to the squeeze on households' real earnings remains in sight."
He added: "We continue to think that CPI inflation is likely to fall back to the 2% target within the next few months - a development that would help to ease the squeeze on households' real earnings and cool fears in the markets that one of the inflation knockouts to the MPC's forward guidance is likely to be breached."
The ONS highlighted the downward pressure on the annual inflation rate between July and August from the transport, and clothing and footwear categories. Petrol prices rose 2p-a-litre between July and August, compared with a corresponding 3.5p increase at the same time last year,
The ONS noted that clothing and footwear prices, overall, usually rise between July and August as autumn ranges enter the shops.
It recorded a 2% rise in prices in this category between July and August, compared with a larger increase of 2.8% a year earlier. The ONS said the main downward effect came from garments, particularly women's outerwear.
Annual inflation, on the old all-items retail prices index measure, rose from 3.1% in July to 3.3% in August.