Ireland sees lower than forecast inflation in 2023

FILE PHOTO: General view of the Grand Canal Docks area of Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s finance department said inflation is expected to be lower this year than the 7.1% rate it forecast last September, with a significant easing anticipated from the second quarter due to a sharp fall in wholesale gas prices.

Annual Irish inflation slowed to 8.2% in December after hitting a 38-year high of 9.2% two months earlier. The finance department said on Saturday that the easing in wholesale prices supported the idea that inflation had peaked and was on a downward trajectory.

The updated analysis was contained in an assessment of the government’s Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), introduced late last year to provide firms with up to 40% of the increase in energy bills up to 10,000 euros per month.

To date just 15,000 businesses have registered for the scheme, which the finance department said was a relatively lower level of uptake than initially expected and budgeted for.

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The government has so far approved claims worth 17.5 million euros, having set aside 1.25 billion euros to cover the six-month scheme.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)