The annual rate of inflation fell to 4.3% in April, down from 5% the previous month, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO says that consumer prices last month increased by just 0.1%, compared to an increase of 0.8% in April of last year.

The April 2007 jump was mainly due to higher mortgage repayments after interest rate increases from the European Central Bank.

The annual rate of inflation for services was 4.8% in April, while goods prices increased by 3.8% in the year.

The CSO said that transport costs fell by 0.9% last month due to decreases in airfares. However, these were partially offset by higher petrol and diesel prices and more expensive bus fares.

Prices charged in restaurants and hotels rose by 1.1% as a result of higher costs for accommodation and alcohol. Health costs were also higher - up 0.5% - after increases in hospital charges.

The figures also reveal that prices for miscellaneous goods and services were up 0.4% due to increases in the costs of childcare, hairdressers and insurance premiums.

Higher average mortgage interest repayments and further increases in the costs of home heating oil were also evident last month.