The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, moderated to 8.9% in November, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show today.

This compares to an annual rate of 9.2% in October - a 38-year high.

Today's CSO figures show that food prices continued to rise but the price of home heating oil fell last month.

There were only two broad categories where prices fell last month - alcohol sold in off-licences and education.

The CSO said that prices continued to rise across all other categories and when energy and food prices are stripped out, so-called "core inflation" rose on an annual basis of 5.5%.

But the overall rate of inflation did moderate, helped by electricity and gas prices holding steady and the price of home heating oil falling.

Food price inflation remained high, rising overall on an annual basis of close to 12%. The price of milk is now up a third compared to a year ago, while the price of sugar is up 25% and the price of poultry up 17.5%.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Today's CSO figures also show that rents continue to rise. They are up 11% compared to last year and recent interest rate increases have seen the cost of mortgage interest repayments rise by 21% compared to a year ago.

There is some speculation that inflation across the euro area may have peaked, with wholesale oil prices losing all their gains made this year.

It has prompted speculation that the European Central Bank may opt for a smaller interest rate increase when its Governing Council meets next week.

The CSO said today that prices were 0.3% higher month-on-month, which was also down significantly on October when energy companies implemented large gas and electricity price increases.

Electricity prices were up 63.5% on an annual basis, while gas prices have jumped by 88.7%, home heating oil is up 57.1% and solid fuels have increased by 46.8% compared to the same time last year, today's CSO figures show.