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Consumer Prices

Consumer Prices

CSO statistical publication, , 11am
Economic and Social Change in Ireland from 1973-2023

Charting some of the changes in Ireland’s economic and social history to mark 50 years of Ireland in the EU.

Change in Prices of Goods and Services 1973-2023

The price of goods and services in Ireland has increased by 1,073% from January 1973 when Ireland joined the EU to January 2023.

The highest rates of inflation were observed at the start of the 1980s when inflation peaked at 23.2% in 1981. In fact, the rate of inflation was more than 15% from October 1979 until October 1982 and remained above 9% until April 1984. This level was only matched again in 2022 when the rate of inflation for October 2022 was 9.2% while in June and July 2022 it hit 9.1%.

Figure 11.1: Percentage Change over 12 Months for the Consumer Price Index since 1975

Basket of Goods and Services

As we can see from the table below which has a selection of goods and services, there has been a marked decrease in the percentage expenditure on items such as Food, Alcoholic Beverages, and Clothing and Footwear. As income levels have increased during Ireland’s time in the EU, more money has been spent on items such as holidays and meals out as well as an increase in the money spent on housing costs (rent, mortgage interest and maintenance and repairs).

It is interesting to compare the basket of goods in 1975 with the most recent updating of the basket of goods in 2016. While a lot of the categories remain similar, the variety of goods priced within those categories have changed considerably.

It is worth noting that while alcohol, cigarettes, and fuel were recorded in the 1973 basket of goods, national average prices for these items were only published from 1983 onwards and therefore it is difficult to compare actual prices from 1973 with now. The listings for alcohol have changed over the years with the price of a gin and tonic and a vodka and white lemonade collected in 1973 as a lounge bar sale, while only the price of a measure of the spirit without the mixer is now collected as a bar sale. In 2023, 20 prices for alcohol are collected including popular flavoured alcoholic drinks and cream liqueur while in 1975, a bottle of wine was collected as a restaurant-only sale.

In 1973 cabbage was included in the basket of goods but has since been dropped where  mushrooms and broccoli are now included. While full-fat milk has always been part of the basket of goods, more recently low-fat milk has been added.

For example, the original communication services were originally pricing the cost of telephone calls and telegrams in 1975 whereas in 2016 that had been expanded to capture mobile phones and broadband services.

Admission to dance halls accounted for 0.8% of all expenditure in 1975 while TV and aerial rental accounted for 0.5%. In 2016, nightclub admittance was less than 0.1% of expenditure while satellite TV and streaming services were 1.3%.

The CSO publishes monthly price comparison data in our Consumer Price Index release, and National Average Prices for selected goods and services in the PxStat table below.

Changing Consumer Prices

1973 vs 2023

See how the prices have changed over the last 50 years for a selection of items from the Consumer Price Index basket of goods as recorded in May 1973 compared with May 2023.
price 1973
now €20.82
Cod* (per 1kg)
price 1973
now €1.68
White sliced bread (per 800g)
price 1973
now €4.44
Eggs (per dozen)

* 1kg of Cod cutlets recorded in 1973 vs 1kg of Cod fillets recorded in 2023

Table 11.1 Basket of Goods and Services November 1975 - December 2016
 Basket of Goods and Services November 1975 (%) Basket of Goods and Services December 2016 (%)
Food30.3 10
Alcoholic Beverages11.4 2.7
Tobacco4.4 2.8
Clothing & Footwear10.7 4.9
Fuel and Light5.9 4
Housing6.1 10.1
Transport13.2 14
Restaurants and Meals Out3 14.4
Taxi, Air and Boat Fares0.4 1.6

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