Dáil Éireann - Volume 576 - 10 December, 2003

Written Answers. - Price Inflation.

  68. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the way in which he proposes to tackle the ongoing and increasing problem of serious price inflation which does not seem to be recorded in the CPI; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30161/03]

  157. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance if he has examined the ongoing problem of price increases which do not seem to be reflected in the rate of inflation due to the fact that the CPI does not cover such items; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30452/03]

  Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy):I propose to take Questions Nos. 68 and 157 together.

  The director general of the Central Statistics Office, CSO, has sole responsibility for and is [1538]independent in deciding, the statistical methodology and professional standards to be used in compiling the consumer price index, CPI. The latest CPI release shows inflation in October was 2.3%, down from an annual high of 5.1% in February, its lowest level in four years. This is a very welcome development. My Department estimates inflation in 2003 at 3%, falling to 2% in 2004.