DUBLIN Ireland's annual inflation rate hit its highest level in almost four years in March when prices rose 0.7 percent both on a monthly and year-on-year basis, data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Thursday.
Consumer prices last rose at that pace in July 2013, while Ireland was still in an international bailout and before a sharp economic recovery took off. Inflation has since remained broadly flat in the European Union's fastest growing economy.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), which strips out mortgages, climbed 0.5 percent on the month and 0.3 percent on the year. The finance ministry forecast this week that HICP would grow by 0.6 percent in 2017 and 1.2 percent in 2018.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by John Stonestreet)