Inflation in the euro zone rose slightly in May when compared to the previous month, according to figures from Eurostat, but was significantly slower than in the same period last year.

Annual inflation in the euro was 1.4% last month, 0.2% higher than in April. However this is 1% lower than the figure recorded for May 2012.

Inflation in the wider European Union was 1.6% last month; also a 0.2% rise compared to April but 1% lower on a year-to-year basis.

Both Greece and Latvia recorded annual rates of deflation in May – 0.3% and 0.2% respectively, while Romania had the highest inflation rate at 4.4%.

Ireland came towards the bottom of the inflation table, with a rate of 0.5%. Ireland’s annual inflation rate in May 2012 was 1.9%.

This compares to a rate of 2.4% in Britain, 1.6% in Germany and 0.9% in France.