New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the rate of annual inflation in September hit its highest level since May 2017 with consumer price growth of 0.9%.

The rate of annual inflation rose in September on the back of higher rents and an increase in the price of home heating oil, electricity and gas as well as higher prices for diesel and petrol.

However consumer prices on a monthly level in September fell by 0.4% due to lower air fares and a fall in the cost of  hotel accommodation.

Today's CSO figures reveal that prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 6.3% on an annual basis, while prices alcoholic beverages and tobacco were 3.2% higher. 

Restaurant and hotel prices, as well as transport costs were also both 2.2% higher in September.

But prices for such items as health and motor insurance, as well as appliances and personal care products fell by 3%, while prices for furniture and household equipment dropped by 3.7%. 

Prices for food and non-alcoholic drinks - including the likes of meat, vegetables, sugar, jam and sweets - were down 2.2% in September on an annual basis, while clothing and footwear prices were down 1%. 

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that despite strong Irish economic growth, there is as yet little sign of sustained pressure on the prices front.

The economist said this appears to be the same story across the euro zone, which he said suggested that the European Central Bank will be in no hurry to increase interest rates. 

"That said, base effects are likely to play a factor over the rest of the year, with every chance that Ireland's headline inflation rate will break above 1% before 2018 is out, possibly rising to 1.5% in December," Mr McQuaid said.