Prices for goods in Ireland are the fifth most expensive in the EU, down from second according to official figures from the Central Statistics Office.
Prices here are still 15pc above the EU average in recent years despite a drop in inflation.
At the same time Ireland was the only country in Europe to record a decrease in inflation over the previous four years, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) confirmed.
Its end of year report - Measuring Ireland’s Progress 2012 – examined the economy, unemployment, poverty, population and crime rates for the year, as well as expenditure on health and greenhouse emissions.
The unemployment rate was the fifth highest in the EU and employment the fifth lowest, while almost 7pc of the population were living in poverty and 15pc at risk of being on the breadline.
Almost one in six adults, aged between 18-59, were living in a jobless household, the second highest in the EU behind Greece at 17.5pc.