Thursday 25 December 2014

Eat spuds but don't hit bottle as price rises revealed

Published 13/06/2014 | 02:30

CSO figures indicate retail food prices fell by 2.2pc in the last year
CSO figures indicate retail food prices fell by 2.2pc in the last year

THE price of the humble spud has plummeted – but you'll be paying extra if you want to have a drink with it.

The weekly shop has gotten cheaper over the last year but consumers are paying more to go out or stay home watching TV.

New Central Statistics Office (CSO) inflation figures show prices were unchanged in May but are up 0.4pc for the year.

However, food prices have fallen by 1.9pc over the last 12 months, mainly down to falling meat, cereal, fruit and vegetable prices with the cost of potatoes down by a massive 26.9pc.

But alcohol prices rose, with spirits soaring by 7pc and wine up 6.3pc in a year, as further Budget excise hikes hit.

Going out also cost more with the price of eating or drinking in bars and restaurants rising, while the cost of hotel stays rose by 1.6pc. Cinema tickets also rose by 0.9pc.

And staying at home also got dearer as the cost of TV subscriptions rose by 4.9pc in the year.

Meanwhile, people renting private accommodation are paying 9pc more than a year ago, whereas homeowners are paying 9.4pc less mortgage interest.

However, the housing revival doesn't appear to have sparked a boom for furniture sellers, as the price of furniture is down 8.8pc in the year.

Consumers are paying 3.5pc less for clothes and shoes also, while the cost of communications services fell by 4.7pc.

And the cost of filling up your car is down 2.2pc for diesel and 1.3pc for petrol, although home energy costs have risen with electricity prices up 3.7pc and gas up 2.7pc.

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association warned that the low annual inflation rate did not reflect the increasing costs for business, with service costs up 3.1pc including a 23.9pc hike for "other services", which included legal fees.

Alan McQuaid of Merrion stockbrokers said that the cut in the European Central Bank interest rate announced last week should push Irish inflation down further in the short-term as it would result in lower tracker-mortgage costs.

"Inflationary pressures in general are set to remain well contained in the immediate future, and we see Ireland's average headline inflation rate being below 1pc again in 2014," he said.

Irish Independent

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