Central Bank figures show that mortgage interest rates in Ireland remain lower than the euro zone average, while deposit rates on savings are higher.

The weighted average interest rate for Irish mortgages stood at 2.98% in February - unchanged from the January level.

This compares to the euro zone average of 3.86%.

The gap is because of the higher proportion of Irish homeowners who have tracker mortgages.

These have become cheaper as the ECB has cut interest rates to record lows of 1%.

Today's Central Bank figures also reveal that interest rates on outstanding loans to households here continues to fall with the weighted average on all outstanding loans easing to 6.09% from 6.12% at the end of January.

On deposits, the Central Bank said that interest rates on household term deposits rose significantly over the past year, reflecting efforts by banks to secure additional funding by offering more attractive rates on longer-term deposit products.

The weighted average interest rate on all term deposits has risen from 2.78% at the end of 2010 to 3.46% by the end of February. The average euro zone rate is 2.79%.

Irish banks' emergency funding dips

Irish-based banks' reliance on emergency funding dipped to €130 billion in February from €132.3 billion a month earlier after borrowing from the European Central Bank shrank to a near two-year low.

Irish banks had €85.1 billion in outstanding loans from the ECB as of March 30, down from €87.1 billion in February while emergency loans from the Central Bank fell to €45 billion from €45.2 billion, data showed today.

Overall borrowings have fallen by almost a third from a high of €187 billion in February 2011 as banks began aggressively to shrink their balance sheets.