Inflation rate moves up to 4.6% in December – CSO

January 18, 2024

The annual rate of inflation rose in December, driven by increases in prices in areas such as restaurants and hotels, mortgage interest repayments and rents and package holidays.

The Consumer Price Index climbed to 4.6% in the year to the end of December, the Central Statistics Office said today.

That compares to 3.9% in the 12 months to November.

A flash estimate of the annual rate of inflation for December published at the start of January, which uses a different measure of inflation, had predicted the rate would be around 3.2%.

Month on month, consumer prices rose by 0.5% between November and December, compared to a drop of 0.2% between the same two months in 2022.

The CSO said core inflation, which strips out energy and unprocessed food, rose by 5.8% in the year to December.

Overall, the average annual rate of inflation last year was 6.3%, compared to 7.2% in 2022 and 2.4% in 2021.

Although the increase in inflation was higher than might have been expected, December was the second consecutive month since September 2021 that inflation has remained below 5%.

All sectors measured by the CSO saw the annual inflation rate increase in December when compared to the same month of last year.

The biggest increase was recorded in the recreation and culture sector, where they rose 10.3%, driven by a 46.4% rise in package holidays.

Prices in restaurants and hotels climbed 6.6% over the 12 months.

Compared to November, prices in recreation and culture were 2.5% higher, again driven by package holidays, while furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance rose 1.4%.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco fell 0.5% and communications by 0.1%.

Among the products that saw price increases in December were a 2.5kg bag of potatoes, which rose by 36 cent, Irish cheddar cheese, which was up 21 cent on the price in the same month a year earlier and 500g of spaghetti, which was 13 cent more expensive.

But a pound of butter fell 9 cent and two litres of full fat milk was 8 cent cheaper.

Across the year, the largest year on year price increase was recorded in February, when prices rose 8.5%.

The biggest increases during 2023 were recorded in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, which climbed 9.8%.

Energy products on average rose by 5.1% during the year, down from 41.2% in 2022.

Article Source – Inflation rate moves up to 4.6% in December – CSO – RTE

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