Inflation back up to 8% in February from 7.5% in January – CSO flash reading
The annual rate of inflation went back up to 8% in February, compared to 7.5% in January, according to an initial estimate from the Central Statistics Office.
Energy prices fell but food prices continued to climb higher last month.
Today’s CSO figures show that Ireland has become the latest euro zone country to record a surprise increase in inflation last month.
Earlier this week, both France and Spain reported increases in inflation in February.
This is based on initial estimates of the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, which is used to compare prices across the EU. More detailed figures will be published later this month.
The CSO reports that energy prices here fell by 0.2% in February bringing the annual rate of energy inflation to just over 29%.
Food prices went up by 1.2% over the month bringing the annual rate of food inflation to 13.4%.
Transport costs are up 3.6% on last year.
When energy prices are stripped out, the annual rate of inflation was 5.8%.
An estimate for euro area inflation in February will be published tomorrow.
The European Central Bank has said it intends to raise interest rates by another half a percentage point at its meeting later this month.
Many analysts now believe it will continue to raise rates further this year.
The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath has said the estimated increase in inflation last month “…is somewhat unexpected but it is only data from one month.”
“It doesn’t change our overall assessment that particularly from quarter two of this year onwards, we expect to see a pretty rapid fall in inflation levels and across the year it’s still coming in 4 to 5%. That remains our expectation,” the Minister said speaking to RTÉ News.