INFLATION The 'flash' i.e. preliminary estimates of inflation in January show that the downward trend in inflation in 2023 has resumed after a glitch in December. In that month the EU's HICP measure of inflation year to year jumped from 2.4% in November to 2.9%. In Ireland the jump was from 2.5% to 3.2%. The January figures show a slowing down to 2.7% in Ireland and a slight fall in the EU from 2.9% to 2.8%. In terms of the CPI, the measure most used in Ireland, the flash indicates a rate of inflation of maybe 3.6%.
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OECD REPORT ON IRISH EDUCATION: The OECD published on 5th December a report on educational attainments in 81 countries throughout the world. Ireland comes out extremely well. In the three subjects examined, Maths, Reading and Science, Ireland is in tenth place on the first and third and in second place on Reading. That means are children are better then the Germans (for example) at Maths, the English at Reading, and the Americans at Science. Scores have dropped everywhere since the last report (in 2018) possibly as a result of Covid. But Irish results have fallen less than the average and in Science we have improved. There are also indicators that gender and social inequality is less marked in Ireland than in the other countries. The report marks a major success.
ECONOMIC SLOW DOWN IN 2023 TO BE FOLLOWED BY RECOVERY IN 2024. Slower growth in the world economy in 2023 has taken its toll of the Irish economy. There is general agreement amongst economic forecasters that 2023 will see a sharp decline in growth in the Irish economy from the very rapid expansion in 2022 followed by resumption of growth in 2024 but at a rate slower than the long term average. Consumer prices, which rose 6.3% in 2023 are expected to fall sharply this year and in 2025.