[The Epoch Times, November 15, 2023](Epoch Times reporter Li Yu Ireland reported) The latest data from the Central Bureau of Statistics show that Ireland’s overall inflation rate dropped to 5.1% in October this year. That was the slowest rise in four months, compared with annual inflation of 6.4% in September and 6.3% in August.
Falling energy prices are the main driver of the slowdown in inflation. Over the past year, Ireland’s overall inflation rate has gradually declined, from a record high of 9.2% in October last year to about 5%.
Although inflation has slowed, prices remain high. Bureau of Statistics analyst Anthony Dawson said in a report that since April 2021, prices in Ireland have increased every month; since October 2021, the monthly inflation rate has been 5 %above.
Data show that compared with the same period last year, entertainment and culture saw the largest price increases in October, with prices rising by 9.7%. The Bureau of Statistics said it was mainly due to the increase in prices in the resort industry and sports event services. Elsewhere, housing, water, electricity, natural gas and other fuel prices rose 7.2% year-on-year.
Prices of food and daily necessities are still rising. In October, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 7% year-on-year. The Bureau of Statistics pointed out in the report that the main reason was an overall increase in the prices of a range of commodities, from vegetables, meat, bread, to jam, honey, chocolate and soda.
The Statistics Office lists changes in the prices of essential household foods. For example, compared with the same period last year, 800 grams of butter rose to 3.7 euros, an increase of 4 euro cents; the price of 2 liters of milk rose by 6 euro cents to 2.1 Euro.
Although the unit price of products has not changed much, according to estimates by the British analysis company Kantar, the increase in the price of daily necessities has caused households to spend an additional 176 euros per year on supermarket expenses alone.
Kantar continuously tracks prices on shelves, analyzing consumer shopping habits and grocery price inflation. Its latest data shows supermarket price inflation fell to a five-month low of 10.5% in the 12 weeks to October 1.
But commodity prices continue to rise, with Kantar estimating that households spend between €1,677 and €1,853 on food and daily necessities each year. The company found that consumers are now more likely to choose cheaper supermarket own-brand products than pricier well-known brands. Sales of supermarket own-brand products increased by 11.5% in the past three months, while branded products only increased 5.1%.
As Christmas gatherings approach, a big concern is the price of alcohol. The price of a large beer in pubs across the country continues to rise after breaching the €6 mark in September, official figures show. Now even choosing to drink at home costs more. In October, the national average price of a 500ml can of beer was more than 2.3 euros, 18 euro cents more expensive than the same period last year.
Editor in charge: Yu Ping