New Central Statistics Office figures show that the annual rate of inflation eased to 0.7% in October from 0.9% in September. 

The CSO said that on a monthly basis, consumer prices fell by 0.3% - the third such fall in the last four months.

Today's CSO figures show that the cost of communications fell by 6.5% in October compared to the same time last year, while clothing and footwear prices were 2.5% lower due to sales in the shops.

Transport costs were also lower on the back of cheaper diesel and petrol prices and a decrease in airfares.

This decrease was partially offset by higher prices for motor cars and services in respect of personal transport equipment.

The biggest price increases - on an annual basis - came in the education sector, with prices up 4.6%, while housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels prices rose by 3.2% due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments as well as dearer gas and electricity prices. 

Prices for alcohol and tobacco increased by 2.7%, while prices in restaurants and hotels were up 2.6%.

October also saw higher health insurance premiums, higher prices for hairdressing salons and an increase in the cost of childcare services. 

This was partially offset by lower prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care and lower motor insurance premiums.

The rate of inflation here rose above 1% for the first time in six years in March, having barely budged in the intervening period despite the economy growing rapidly. 

It has slipped back below that for the past four months.

Commenting on today's figures, economist Alan McQuaid said that today's consumer price index was much as expected and showed that overall inflationary pressures in the economy remain fairly-muted.

"Ireland's average inflation rate was 0.5% in 2018, marginally up from 0.4% in 2017. An average inflation rate of 0.9% is now envisaged for 2019. A slightly higher figure of 1.1 % is currently forecast for 2020," the economist added.