Growth in Ireland's annual consumer price inflation (CPI) index accelerated for the second month in a row, rising slightly to a four-month high of 6.4% in September from 6.3% a month earlier, Central Statistics Office data showed on Thursday.

The data confirmed that inflation as measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), which strips out mortgage interest costs, also rose slightly to 5%, while the HICP rate excluding energy and unprocessed food fell to 4.5%.

Ireland's finance ministry this week increased its forecasts for HICP, and now expects it to slow down to 2.9% next year from the 2.5% it forecast earlier this year, and average 2.4% in 2025 versus 2.0% estimated previously. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)