Inflation falls below 2% for first time since June 2021 – flash CSO reading

April 4, 2024

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, reflecting falling domestic energy rates which have come on the back of steep drops in wholesale energy prices.

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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