A drop in inflation in the eurozone last month thanks to lower energy prices marked the first measurable impact on the bloc's economies from the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Data from Eurostat issued yesterday showed that in the eurozone as a whole, inflation was expected to fall to 1.2pc in February from 1.4pc in January, and to register a decline to 0.9pc here from the prior month's 1.1pc.
Energy prices fell by a sizeable 1.6pc in February.
"Looking ahead, the risk now is that the coronavirus dampens inflationary pressures in the currency union," said Jessica Hinds, European economist at Capital Economics, who said that energy prices would remain weak.
As a result of the virus, factories have been shuttered, hitting the global economy and supply chains. In Dublin, search engine giant Google has advised its 8,000 employees to work from home.
"Although supply chain disruptions would normally be expected to create inflationary pressure, that seems unlikely in a context of weak domestic demand," said Ms Hinds.
"Note, too, that the labour market recovery is fading. Eurozone unemployment held steady at a rate of 7.4pc in January, with the number of people out of work rising."
In Ireland, the rate of unemployment remains at 4.8pc. The risk is that it might now rise and end up feeding through into a shock to the wider economy, said Andrew Webb, chief economist at Grant Thornton Ireland. "Uncertainty looks set to increase with the coronavirus outbreak," Mr Webb said.
That said, the economy here is in good shape.
Newly released data from AIB has shown that output in the services industry increased for the fourth straight month in February, and at its fastest pace since December 2017.