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Inflation Eased To 5% In January For First Time In 14 Months

As reported in The Business Post, annual inflation eased back to 5 percent last month after a 20-year high in December, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office.

Consumer prices in January decreased by 0.4 per cent month-on-month.

This is the first monthly decrease following 14 months of rising prices.

Rising Costs

Prices have been rising on an annual basis since April 2021, with annual inflation of 5 percent or more each month since October, and a record high of 5.5 percent recorded at the end of last year.

The decrease is a likely result of lower prices in clothing and footwear in the January sales and a drop in airline fares.

The CSO’s latest consumer price index show the sectors with the largest increases in the year to January were transport (+14.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+12 percent); and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+8.4 percent).

Petrol and diesel prices have risen by 29.5 and 32 percent respectively.

Airline fares were also up by 26.7 percent.

Electricity and gas prices also rose significantly, by 22.4 and 27.7 percent respectively, while home heating oil is up over 50 percent.

National Average Prices

The CSO also published national average prices for goods today.

The national average price for bread (large 800g white sliced pan) was up 10.0 cent in the year to December 2021, while the same size brown sliced pan is up 13.2 cent in the year.

Butter per pound increased by 12 cent in the year while the average price for 80 tea bags increased by 5.2 cent.

The national average price of a pint of stout at €4.94 was up 6.1 cent on average from December 2020, while a pint of lager at €5.31 was up 4.9 cent.

European Commission Comments

The drop in inflation could be short-lived as prices are expected to continue to rise over the coming months.

Last week, the European Commission said it expects the Irish economy to grow by 5.5 percent this year, with inflation rising by 4.6 percent, well above the euro zone average of 3.9 percent.

The predicted rate of 4.6 per cent this year is an increase 1.5 points.

Energy prices are expected to remain high and price pressures are broadening to several categories of goods and services, the Commission said.

Inflation is to peak from now until March and remain high until declining from October to December, the Commission said.

Next year, inflation will reduce to around 2 percent in Europe and 2.5 percent in Ireland, it predicted.

© 2022 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.

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