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The cost of living continued to rise last month - but the annual rate of inflation is down somewhat. Julien Behal/PA Archive

Cost of living increased by 0.2 per cent in August

The Central Statistics Office says the annual rate of inflation in Ireland stood at 2.2 per cent as of the end of August.

THE COST OF LIVING in Ireland increased in the month of August by 0.2 per cent – though the annual rate of inflation fell significantly on the previous month.

New data published by the Central Statistics Office showed that while the Consumer Price Index rose in August, the rate of inflation for the year to August was 2.2 per cent – down from 2.7 per cent in July.

The most significant prices increases in August was in clothing and footwear, where prices rose by 3.3 per cent – in the month when many parents were kitting out their children to return to school.

Prices in that sector fell by 5.4 per cent over the course of the last three months, however, as summer sales ended and many shops took in new stock for the autumn season.

The cost of housing, water, energy and fuel rose by 0.6 per cent over the course of the month, as did the cost of furniture, while transport costs rose by 0.3 per cent. A 0.2 per cent increase was noted in alcohol and tobacco prices.

Prices fell in a handful of sectors, with ‘miscellaneous goods and services’ falling by 0.8 per cent, largely due to the reduced cost of home insurance, while health and education costs fell more marginally.

Though prices rose across the month, the annual rate of inflation is now at its lowest for six months, having been as high as 3.2 per cent as recently as April.

On an annual basis, the highest increase was in the housing and fuel sector (7.2 per cent) and in miscellaneous goods (6.2 per cent); while the cost of furniture was down by 2.3 per cent over the last twelve months.

Inflation was zero per cent for the month of July, and was down by 0.1 per cent in June.

Measured by the European Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, inflation was still up by 0.2 per cent over the course of the last month, but only by 1 per cent compared to the same point in time last year.

Read the CSO’s data in full (PDF) >