The annual inflation rate eased in September to 0.2% from a four month high of 0.4% the previous month, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The CSO said that food and non-alcoholic drink prices fell due to lower prices across a range of products such as vegetables, soft drinks, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery and bread and cereals. 

Clothing and footwear prices decreased due to sales in September, while the cost of furniture and furnishings also fell.

But September saw increases in the cost of eating out and hotel accommodation, while rents rose and transport costs increased on the back of higher petrol and diesel prices as well as higher air fares.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices decreased by 0.6% in September from August. The CSO said the most significant monthly price changes were decreases in transport (down 3.8%) and Communications, which eased by 2.3%).  

Prices for clothing and footwear rose 3.2%.

In its latest quarterly bulletin today, the Central Bank said the current inflation rate remains "subdued" and is the lowest in the euro area.

This helps to underpin real household income and consumption, it added.