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August saw the largest annual jump in consumer prices in nearly a decade

It follows a sharp drop-off in prices last year due to public health restrictions.

Image: Leah Farrell

IRISH CONSUMER PRICES were 2.8% higher in August than they were a year ago, the largest annual increase since November 2011, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today.

It follows a sharp drop-off in price inflation last year when consumers were largely unable to spend money on goods and services due to public health restrictions.

When compared with price data in other Eurozone countries, the annual Irish rate of inflation was 3% last month, in line with the latest European estimates.

However, this is above the European Central Bank’s target of 2%.

August also saw the monthly rate of increase — as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — accelerate to 0.6% in the month, up from 0.4% in July.

“This is the tenth month in succession that prices have increased when compared to the previous month,” said CSO statistician Colin Cotter today.

That makes it the longest consecutive sequence of monthly inflation since 2007.

The largest increases were in the areas of transport — where prices jumped 10% in the 12 months to the end of August — as well as home heating and electricity — where prices increased by 7.3% in the year.

Transport prices mainly rose due to “higher prices for petrol, diesel and motor cars, an increase in airfares and a rise in the cost of services in respect of personal transport equipment,” Cotter said.

Meanwhile, home heating and electricity costs increased mainly due to rising energy costs.

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Restaurant and hotel prices rose by 3.4% in the year to the end of August due to higher demand following the relaxation of public health restrictions and the return of indoor dining.

This has pushed up “prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes” and increased the cost of hotel accommodation, Cotter said.

Meanwhile, the largest month-on-month increase was observed in the clothing and footwear category, where prices jumped 2.2% in August from July.

However, this was due to a recovery in sales from July and overall, clothing and footwear prices declined by 5.6% in the year.

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