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Annual Irish Consumer Inflation falls to 4.7% in December 2007

The CSO reported on Thursday Jan 17th, that Irish Consumer Prices in December, as measured by the CPI, increased by 0.1% in the month. This compares to an increase of 0.3% in December of last year. The annual rate of inflation fell to 4.7%, down from 5.0% in November 2007.

The EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) rose by 0.1% in the month, compared to an increase of 0.4% in December 2006. The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the HICP, fell from 3.5% in November to 3.2% in December.

The most notable changes in the year were increases in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+15.1%), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+6.3%), Education (+6.0%) and Transport (+5.1%). There were decreases in Clothing & Footwear (-6.2%) and Furnishings, Household Equipment&Routine Household Maintenance (-2.3%).

The annual rate of inflation for Services was 6.5% in December, while Goods increased by 2.7% in the year.

The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+1.9%), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+0.9%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+0.7%) and a decrease in Clothing & Footwear (-3.4%).

The main factors contributing to the monthly change were as follows:

  • Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco prices rose due to the increase in excise duties on cigarettes and other tobacco products announced in the Budget in December.

  • Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages rose due to price increases across a wide range of products including biscuits and bread.

  • Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels rose due to increases in average mortgage interest repayments and higher local authority rents.

  • Clothing & Footwear fell with lower prices for both clothing and footwear.

The CPI excluding tobacco index for December remained unchanged in the month and was up 4.7% in the year. The CPI excluding energy products index was up 0.1% since November and increased by 4.3% in the year. The CPI excluding mortgage interest increased by 0.1% in the month and rose by 3.1% in the year.

Inflation on a downward trend - IBEC

The annual rate of consumer price inflation decelerated to 4.7% in December, down from 5% in November. The EU harmonised measure of inflation for Ireland fell from 3.5% to 3.2%.

Commenting on the figures, IBEC Chief Economist David Croughan said: “This is a significant and welcome reduction in the rate of inflation which we expect to continue throughout 2008. Slower global growth should take the pressure off energy and commodity prices. Inflation, we believe, will fall to 3.5% by mid-year and below 2% by the end of the year."

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