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Annual rate of inflation slows to 7.8% in January – CSO

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the annual rate of inflation slowed to 7.8% in January from 8.2% in December.

The CSO said that prices fell overall in the month by 0.8%. Core inflation, which strips out energy and food prices, stood at 5%.

The traditional January sales saw the price of clothing fall last month. The price of diesel also fell as did airfares.

However, food prices were higher. Alcoholic drinks were more expensive both in pubs and restaurants and in off-licences.

The recent interest rate increases from the European Central Bank also saw mortgage interest repayments go up.

Overall, however, prices fell back last month by 0.8%, the second consecutive fall in as many months.

The main contributor to inflation on an annual basis remains energy prices but both electricity and gas prices remained frozen last month, although the price of home heating oil did go up.

Ireland’s annual rate of inflation is 0.7% below the estimate for inflation across the euro area.

The ECB’s estimate for inflation is for it to fall sharply to 3.6% at the end of this year, but that is still some way off.

Today’s CSO figures show that the price of food, on an annual basis, rose by 12.9% in January, up 0.6% over the month.

Bread is up 12.9%, meat prices rose by 14.4%, milk prices jumped by 30.6% and eggs rose 22.3% – all on an annual basis.

However, some food products which have seen steep increases over the past year like butter, cheese and pasta all fell back slightly.

The price of accommodation in hotels and guest houses also fell by 7% last month but it is still up 11.9% compared to January of last year.

Six of the 12 categories surveyed by the CSO showed declines last month with falls in the price of transport and clothing making the biggest contribution in lowering inflation.

The biggest contributors to increases in prices last month were higher mortgage interest repayments, higher rents and higher prices for alcoholic drinks.

Article Source: Annual rate of inflation slows to 7.8% in January – CSO – Robert Shortt – RTE

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