Inflation remains weak at 0.2%, Consumer Price Index shows
Inflationary pressure in the economy remains extremely weak, with the latest Consumer Price Index showing prices nationally rose by only 0.2 per cent in the year to March, down from 0.5 per cent in February.
The main monthly changes affecting the index in March were increases in the cost of clothing and footwear, which rose 1.6 per cent. This was linked to the end of the early-year sales. The cost of transport, which includes car prices and air fares, rose 1.5 per cent, while restaurants and hotel accommodation prices climbed 0.9 per cent in the month. There were decreases in miscellaneous goods and services (-0.9 per cent), which includes health insurance premiums and the cost of personal care products. The average cost of motor insurance fell 13.8 per cent year-on-year in February, the latest numbers show.
“Despite strong Irish economic growth there is little sign of sustained pressure on the prices front, which appears to be the same story across the euro zone, suggesting that the European Central Bank will be in no hurry to increase interest rates,” said Merrion analyst Alan McQuaid.