FIGURES RELEASED BY the Central Statistics Office today show that prices in Ireland have risen by 1.6 per cent in the 12 months to September.
The new data reveals the cost of living fell slightly in the month of September, easing the annual inflation rate from it’s five-month high of 2 per cent in August down to 1.6 per cent.
The most notable changes in the year were significant increases in the cost of education, transport, miscellaneous goods and services and alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
According to the CSO, transport costs rose because of higher pump prices and an increase in airfares. The miscellaneous category provided an upward contribution due to higher health insurance premiums and education was higher as a result of third-level institution costs.
The alcohol and tobacco category saw a jump because of higher prices for cigarettes in the year.
There were decreases in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels because of lower mortgage interest repayments but these were partially offset by increases in home heating oil, electricity and gas. The cost of communications and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance also fell in the year.
In the month, however, consumer prices dropped by 0.1 per cent. The main factors contributing to the ease included a fall in airfare costs. This fall was offset somewhat by the rise in petrol and diesel prices, said the CSO.
During September, consumers also saw an increase in the price of alcohol in off-licences and supermarkets and the recovery in prices of clothing and footwear following the traditional summer sales.
The annual rate of inflation for services was 1.2 per cent in the year, while goods increased by 2 per cent.
Compared to Europe, Ireland’s inflation is still at a lower level. In August, the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices – the standard methodology used in Europe – across the European Union increased by 2.6 per cent. The UK’s latest rate of inflation was 2.5 per cent.