The annual rate of inflation last month continued to moderate, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The Consumer Price Index eased to 8.2% in December, down from 8.9% in November.
The annual average rate for 2022 was 7.8%, the highest annual rate since 1984.
Inflation fell slightly in December for the first time since January of last year. The main factor was a fall in the price of petrol and diesel. Home heating oil also fell last month.
However, the price of food continued to rise. It is up 12% on an annual basis with milk up by a third and chicken up almost 17%.
There was little change in the cost of electricity and gas which both rose steeply over last year.
The average inflation rate for 2022 was 7.8%. This is the highest annual rate since 1984 and a big jump from the 2.4% recorded over 2021 and a long way from the decline of 0.3% recorded in 2020.
In an interview with the Financial Times today, the chief economist of the European Central Bank Philip Lane said the bank will need to raise rates more but he also said that if the euro area falls into recession this year, he believes it would be “mild and short lived”.
Today’s CSO figures show that food inflation shows no sign of slowing.
The price of bread is up just over 16% on an annual basis. Based on national average prices, a large sliced pan of white bread is 26 cents more expensive at €1.66 than it was a year ago.
Butter is up 23% on an annual basis with a pound of butter on average up 71 cents to €3.84.
Meanwhile, cheese is up just over 16% and a kilo on average is €10.49, an increase of €1.51.
Utilities did not budge much in December. Electricity is up 63% on an annual basis while natural gas is up 92%.
Home heating oil fell by just over 14% in last month compared to November and is up 40% on an annual basis.
Mortgage interest is also up sharply, following several months of increases from the European Central Bank. It rose 1.3% in the month and is now up 22% on an annual basis.