Inflation hit a 38 year high in 2022 but economy strong – CSO
The Central Statistics Office has published an online compilation of significant statistics about the economy and business recorded last year.
The report notes that inflation reached a 38 year high in 2022, with the annual rate peaking at 9.2% in October before falling slightly in November.
This was based on big increases in energy prices and the price of food.
Energy prices remained volatile with wholesale energy prices going up by 260% in 2021 compared to their average across 2020.
However, in October wholesale energy prices fell by 37% compared to October 2021 and were at their lowest level in a year.
Inflation in the agricultural sector saw the price of fertiliser go up by 141% on average over 2022, although the CSO notes the price stabilised from June. The report also notes that the volume of fertiliser used fell by 19%.
Inflation was also felt in the construction industry with prices for fabricated metal up 57% on an annual basis in October and the price of PVC pipes and fittings used in plumbing up 28%.
Housing completions bounced back in 2022 with more homes completed by the end of the third quarter (20,807 units) compared to the whole of 2021 (20,560 units).
However, planning permissions granted in the third quarter fell by 41% compared to the third quarter of 2021.
Property prices last year rose past the peak last seen during the property boom. In September, the national property index was 2.6% higher than it was in April 2007.
The median or mid-point price of property nationally was €300,000. The lowest median price was in Longford at €148,000 while the highest was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at €620,000.
The economy overall, when measured by GDP which includes the impact of multinational companies, grew by 11.7% from January to September compared to the same period in 2021.
When measured by Modified Domestic Demand, which strips out the impact of multinationals, it grew by 10.1%.
Meanwhile, people really began to travel again in a big way in 2022 with 13.8 million passengers passing through Irish airports in the first half of last year. This was 12.8 million more than the first half of 2021.
However, international travel has not fully recovered with 200,000 fewer people using Dublin airport last October compared to October 2019.
The latest Transport Bulletin shows the number of people using public transport now matches pre-pandemic levels with bus journeys outside Dublin actually higher. Car traffic is now “only slightly below” 2019 levels, the CSO figures show.