Drivers and renters hit by price rises despite overall fall
Published 14/08/2015 | 02:30
The costs of renting, insuring a vehicle and buying postage stamps have shot up.
But despite this, overall prices fell in July.
The decrease was helped by lower prices for home-heating oil, petrol and clothing, the Central Statistics Office said.
The latest Consumer Price Index shows the average basket of goods and services was 0.2pc cheaper in July compared with a year ago.
The cost of insurance bucked this trend, rising by 16pc in the past year. This means that a policy that cost €500 last year is now €80 dearer.
However, insurance brokers reckon that premium rates are rising at a rate of 20pc a year.
Both the Irish Brokers Association and AA Ireland reckon that premiums will continue to rise in cost for at least a year, as insurers are losing heavily on motor cover.
RSA and Aviva both said last week that claims for motoring accidents remained a problem, with Aviva unable to say when premiums would stop rising.
Rents shot up by 10.4pc in the past year, the CSO found.
This means a €1,000 monthly rental last year is now €104 a month more expensive.
The country's biggest apartment owner said this week that rents it is charging to private tenants have risen by up to 15pc.
Irish Residential Properties Reit (IRES) said that it is achieving rent increases of between 10pc and 15pc when leases are being renewed by tenants or when new tenants are moving into a property.
Hotels pushed up their prices by an average of 9.5pc compared with a year ago, the CSO figures indicate.
On July 1 the price of a stamp for a standard letter rose from 68c to 70c, while the standard international letter rate up to 100g jumped from €1 to €1.05.
But the price rises were cancelled out by a string of goods and services that came down, maintaining the deflationary pressures in the economy.
Home-heating oil fell by 19pc in the past year. This means that a 1,000-litre fill now costs around €600, a saving of €145.
Drivers hit by higher insurance costs are at least benefiting from lower fuel costs.
There was a fall of 10pc in the price of diesel, and a drop of 7pc in the cost of petrol from a year ago.
Householders have also benefited from fall in the cost of clothing and footwear, and food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Business groups said this country remains an expensive location, despite prices falling overall.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding said: "The upward cost pressure has already commenced, with the Government backing wage increases, adding to property and business services cost increases."
He said the danger was that any externally generated temporary gains being experienced through currency, interest and oil variations could be quickly eroded, as global growth intensifies.