Inflation falls below 2pc for first time since June 2021

Annual inflation in Ireland fell below the euro zone-wide target of two per cent for the first time in almost three years after slowing to 1.7 per cent in March, according to a flash estimate of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) from the Central Statistics Office.

Irish inflation peaked at almost 10 per cent 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 per cent.

The Central Bank forecast last month that it would average two per cent for 2024 as a whole before slowing to 1.8 per cent in 2025.

The CSO said the Irish inflation rate of 1.7 per cent compares to a rate of 2.6 per cent in the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Price inflation for the euro zone over the same time.

Today’s CSO figures show that transport costs have risen by 3.1 per cent in the month and increased by 3.8 per cent in the 12 months to March.

Energy prices are estimated to have fallen by 3.1 per cent in the month and decreased by 8.4 per cent since March last year.

Eurostat will tomorrow publish flash estimates of inflation from the EU HICP for the Eurozone for March 2024.