There are increasing signs that the long period of rapidly rising prices which kicked off after the Russian invasion of Ukraine is finally coming to an end.

On the domestic front, data from Kantar this week showed grocery inflation had dropped to 9.8% in the 12 weeks to the end of October – the first single-digit print for that number in a year.

Last week, the Central Statistics Office published the agricultural price indices for September, which showed the cost level was virtually unchanged from the previous month.

One of the view areas in that data which showed increasing prices over the month was motor fuel, which rose significantly.

This rise was mostly driven by the global rally in the price of crude oil, with global benchmark Brent trading around $90 a barrel for much of the month, far above the $70-$75 range it held before the summer.

In recent weeks, however, that rally in crude prices has unwound. Brent this week is back down close to the $80 a barrel mark.

The drop has been driven by concerns over the pace of global growth, sluggish demand and easing of concerns of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

Reduced production

Efforts from Saudi Arabia and Russia to maintain oil prices by voluntarily reducing production until the end of the year are certainly helping keep prices higher than they otherwise might be.

However, the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based intergovernmental body for energy policy, this week said that demand for crude is likely to accelerate for the rest of this year and into 2024.

This means any respite from high oil prices may be relatively short-lived.

On the domestic front, there is better news on electricity costs as consumers will see the latest round of price cuts reflected in their bills.

All indicators suggest that electricity prices should continue to move lower over the coming months, barring any major shocks or a very cold winter.