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Cost of living concerns mount as October sees largest annual jump in consumer prices since 2007

Electricity and fuel costs are the main drivers of inflation currently, the Central Statistics Office said.

Image: Shutterstock/tristan tan

IRISH CONSUMER PRICES were 5.1% higher in October than a year ago, the largest annual change in prices since 2007, the Central Statistics Office has said (CSO).

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.

Rising energy prices remain the primary driver of the current bout of price inflation, according to the latest CSO Consumer Price Index.

Electricity costs, in particular, skyrocketed last month due to a number of factors including heightened demand, tight electricity supply and skyrocketing wholesale energy prices across Europe as a result of a shortage of natural gas.

Electricity prices overall were up 15.5% in October. Gas prices jumped by 23% in the year.

Home heating and transport fuel costs were also up last month.

Petrol and diesel prices increased by nearly 22% and just over 25% respectively while home heating oil jumped 71% compared to October last year.

Prices in the hotel and restaurants sector, meanwhile, jumped 4.1% last month. Clothing and footwear prices decreased by 2.4%.

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The current bout of inflation — triggered largely by rapidly improving consumer demand, rising energy costs as well as the global supply chain and transport crisis — is expected to moderate next year although the outlook remains uncertain, the Central Bank warned last month.

The Department of Finance expects inflation to peak in the current quarter before moderating to 2.2% next, slightly above the European Central Bank’s target of 2%.

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