The annual rate of inflation eased to 1.7% in June from the rate of 1.8% in May, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Consumer prices in June fell by 0.2% in the month, which compared to a fall of 0.1% in June of last year.

The CSO said that clothing and footwear prices fell by 4.2% due to the traditional summer sales, while furnishings and household equipment prices were lower due to sales.

Housing, water, electricity and gas prices dropped 0.9% due to falls in the cost of home heating oil.

But transport costs rose 0.7% in the month due to higher airfares, which were partially offset by falls in the price of petrol and diesel. Restaurant and hotel prices also rose by 0.7% last month on the back of an increase in the price of accommodation.

The EU measure of prices - which excludes mortgage repayments - decreased by 0.2% in the month, the same in June of last year. Prices on average, as measured by the EU harmonised index of consumer prices, were 1.9% higher in June compared to the same time last year.