The annual rate of inflation fell to 4.3% in January from 4.7% in December, its lowest level since November 2006.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that consumer prices in January decreased by 0.5%, compared to a decrease of 0.1% in January last year.

The annual rate of inflation for services was 5.1% in January, while goods increased by 3.3% in the year.

The CSO says that the main monthly price decreases were as a result of a 12.9% fall in clothing and footwear costs, as well as a 2.9% fall in the prices of furnishings and household equipment.

However health costs rose by 2.9% on the back of an increase in hospital charges, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices increased by 0.8%.

Food costs were also 0.4% higher with price increases across a wide range of products including lamb and beef.