Inflation drops 3.1pc in 12 months
The cost of living fell by 3.1pc over the last year despite a slight increase in the last two months, official figures revealed today.
Falls in high street prices, everyday goods and housing helped drive prices down further, with the country's banking chiefs predicting that the trend should continue through this year.
The Central Statistics Office reported a large 13pc fall in the cost of clothing and footwear while household bills came down by about 9pc.
The annual rate of inflation has been steadily falling since January 2009.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) claimed that, despite the drop in inflation, the State was continuing to hit firms with increased costs.
"The Government needs to concentrate its energies on assisting indigenous business to survive and compete," chief executive Mark Fielding said.
"As businesses cut their prices to compete, increased State-influenced costs, including energy, transport, local charges, water and waste charges, continue to undermine our competitiveness, which is crucial to any upswing in the economy."
Retail Ireland called on landlords to reverse rent hikes in response to the cheaper cost of living.
"Retailers have cut their overhead costs to the bone," director Torlach Denihan said.
"Their ability to deliver further price cuts to consumers depends on the willingness of landlords to reverse huge rent increases, applied in recent years under upward-only rent review clauses."