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Cost of living: Annual inflation rate down to 7.7% from 2022 high of almost 10%

March was the 18th consecutive month where inflation was at least 5%.

THE RATE OF inflation in Ireland for the 12 months up to March 2023 was 7.7%, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Annual inflation has dropped slightly from 8.5% up to February of this year.

March was the 18th consecutive month during which inflation was over 5%.

Prices rose most in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, which jumped by 20.8% in the past year.

Consumer prices rose by 1.1% in the month between February and March. Transport prices rose by 2% in that time and restaurant and hotel prices by 1.9%.

The national average price of a number of items rose in March 2023, according to the CSO. An 800g loaf of white/brown sliced pan is 25c more expensive than March 2022, a two-litre carton of full-fat milk is 45c more expensive and a pound of butter is 68c dearer than a year ago.

The full list of items in the CSO’s National Average Price database is available to view here.

Education was the only division to show a decrease when compared with March 2022, with a drop of 6.3%.

Inflation during the current cost-of-living crisis peaked in June last year at a rate of 9.6%.

Agriculture price index

The Agricultural Input Price Index was up 16.4% in the 12 months to February 2023, according to CSO figures, while the Agricultural Output Price Index rose by 16.3% over the same period.

The most significant output price increases can be seen in cereal prices (up 47.5%), pig prices (up 39.6%), egg prices (up 28.5%) and cattle prices (up 18.8%).

Input price increases were recorded in feeding prices (+25.1%), energy prices (+18.1%) and fertiliser prices (+15.4%) in February 2023 when compared with February 2022.

The Agricultural Output Price Index decreased by 3.9% between January and February 2023.

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