IRISH CONSUMER PRICES rose an average of 7% in the 12 months to April, the fastest pace in nearly 22 years, from 6.7% in the year to March.
Consumer price inflation has now been rising at an annual rate of 5% or more since October 2021, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
Economists at the Institute for Economic and Social Research and the Central Bank of Ireland expect annual inflation to peak between 8% and 8.5% in the summer, before falling.
However, the CSO’s April Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that the monthly inflation rate slowed significantly last month. Prices increased by an average of 0.9% in April compared to 1.9% in March.
Transport prices, the second biggest contributor to annual Irish inflation, rose 17.1% in the year to April, although prices at petrol stations started to fall last month.
Gasoline prices, which rose nearly 24% from last April, fell 6.4% in April. Diesel prices, which rose more than 40% in 12 months, fell 2.8% in the month.
This is in line with global crude oil prices, which have fallen in recent weeks from record highs seen in the immediate aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
House prices, water, gas and electricity continue to be the largest contributors to annual inflation, the CSO said, at more than 2.7% of the total.
Against the backdrop of rising global natural gas prices, the cost of goods in this category rose nearly 19% in the year to end-April, according to the CPI.
Natural gas prices have risen 53.7% in the last 12 months and 20.6% between March and April amid the war in Ukraine, which has put significant upward pressure on prices.
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Roughly half of Ireland’s electricity supply is generated by natural gas, which has prompted utilities to raise prices in recent months. As a consequence, electricity prices have risen 27.8% in the 12 months to the end of April and 7.5% in the past month alone.
Although slightly lower than the euro zone average of 7.5% last month, said CSO statistician Colin Cotter, the annual increase in prices through last month is “the largest seen in almost 22 years, when inflation annual also stood at 7.0% in November 2000″.
Commenting on the statement, he added: “The CSO also made available today the national average prices for selected goods and services from the CPI for March 2022 and they show diesel at €1.95 per liter and petrol at €1.93 per liter. € per liter increased by 61.3 cents per litre. liter (+46.0%) and 50.4c per liter (+35.3%) respectively between March 2021 and March 2022.
“As for some staples, the national average price of bread (large (800g) sliced white bread) increased 12.9 cents in the year to March 2022, while the same size sliced brown bread increased 22 cents. .2 cents in the year. Fresh salmon per kg decreased by 12.1 cents in the year, while the average price of 2.5 kg of potatoes decreased by 9.9 cents.”