Inflation falls below 2% for first time since June 2021

Annual inflation in Ireland fell below the euro zone-wide target of 2% for the first time in almost three years after slowing to 1.7% in March, a flash estimate of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) from the Central Statistics Office shows.

Irish inflation peaked at almost 10% year-on-year in the middle of 2022 and has fallen steadily over the last 12 months.

The flash reading from the CSO for February had shown an inflation rate of 2.3%.

The Central Bank forecast last month that it would average 2% for 2024 as a whole before slowing to 1.8% in 2025.

The CSO said the Irish inflation rate of 1.7% compares to a rate of 2.6% in the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Price inflation for the euro zone over the same time.

Today’s CSO figures show that energy prices are estimated to have fallen by 3.1% in the month and decreased by 8.4% since March last year.

Food prices are estimated to have decreased by 0.1% in the last month and increased by 2.6% in the last 12 months.

Transport costs have risen by 3.1% in the month and increased by 3.8% in the 12 months to March, the CSO added.

Ireland’s core HICP rate, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, slowed to 2.8% in the year to March from 3.2% a month earlier, the CSO added.

The flash inflation figure for the euro zone will be published tomorrow.

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