Wholesale electricity prices continued to fall last month and are now back to levels not seen in two years.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that prices fell by 16.2% in May compared to the previous month and fell by 26.6% compared to May last year.
Overall, the wholesale price index which measures prices paid by manufacturers for their raw materials, moderated to a 0.5% increase in May compared to April and is 1.5% higher compared to May 2022.
Producer prices for food products fell by 2.4% on an annual basis.
Some of the steepest falls were in vegetable and animal fats, which are down 9.3% and dairy products which are down 8.8% an annual basis.
Other food ingredients like fruit and vegetables are up 17.4% while fish products are up 13.9%.
The price of construction materials also slowed. They were down overall by 0.8% in May compared to April but are still 9.1% higher than they were in May 2022.
”Wholesale price inflation continued to show signs of levelling off in May 2023 with no change to the overall producer price index for the manufacturing industries in the month,” said Jillian Delaney, Statistician in the CSO’s Prices Division.
“The price index for export sales rose by 0.1% since April 2023, while the index for home sales fell by 0.9% in the month. Producer prices for products sold on the domestic market are now 5.3% higher than they were in May 2022, with export producer prices falling by 1.4% and overall producer prices falling by 1.1% in the year.”
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has said energy prices must fall quickly and there is scope there to do that.
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil, he said that energy costs are a key issue for households and the Government wants to see the drop in wholesale prices passed on to homes.
Sinn Féin said people are living in a “rip off republic” with the European Commission confirming that Ireland is the most expensive country in the EU to live in.
The party’s Spokesperson on Finance said workers work hard but the economy is not working for them and that is the Government’s legacy.
Pearse Doherty said energy bills remain stubbornly high even though they have fallen in other EU countries and called for an investigation into why the prices are not falling for consumers.
Minister McGrath said Ireland is among the fast growing economies in the EU, with very low unemployment and budget surpluses.
He said “incomes in Ireland are well above the EU average” but inflation has had a negative impact on people.