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We're paying more for alcohol, tobacco and dining out than this time last year

Higher health and motor insurance premiums are driving up inflation.

Image: Shutterstock

PRICES FOR ALCOHOL, tobacco, and dining out have increased since last year.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) prices for alcohol and tobacco are up 3.9%, education costs are up 4.8% and restaurant and hotel prices are up 2.7% since October 2013.

The main factor behind the increase in restaurants and hotels is due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks, hotel accommodation and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants and cafes. 

Health premiums 

Miscellaneous Goods and Services rose primarily due to higher health and motor insurance premiums and the increased costs associated with the local property tax.

Alcoholic drinks and tobacco increased due to higher prices for alcohol sold in off licences and supermarkets and higher tobacco prices.

On average prices were 0.2% higher in October than this time last year.

However, there is some good news. We are paying less for clothing, footwear, non-alcoholic drinks, furnishings, household equipment and transport.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks decreased due to lower prices across a range of products such as meat, vegetables and bread and cereals, while transport fell mainly due to lower petrol and diesel prices and a reduction in the price of motor cars.  

In terms of monthly inflation, there has been a decrease, due to a fall in transport due to a fall in airfares and lower petrol costs this month, as well as for restaurant and hotel prices, due to the fall in accommodation costs.

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Davy says the latest Consumer Price Index data shows inflation is continuing to fall, declining to 0.2% in the year to October from 0.3%.

“With oil prices still falling and offsetting the inflationary pressures now emerging in the economy, the outlook is for further weak inflation, with the possibility of a bout of deflation in the near term.”

At face value, Davy said goods trade data for September point to a slowdown in exports in the third quarter, however, they doubt that this is the case given the strength of the services sector and the emergence of offshore goods exports not captured in the monthly trade data.

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