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Businesses charge each other less

Irish businesses charged slightly less for a number of services from human resources to cleaning during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that its experimental Services Producer Price Index (SPPI) dipped 0.1pc in the three months to the end of December.

That compared to a 0.8pc fall in the previous quarter and a 0.5pc rise in the three months to the end of June.

The index was initiated last year by the CSO and it's still fine-tuning the measure.

It's trying to gauge just how much businesses charge each other for a range of services.

In the final quarter of 2011, the most notable decreases in charges occurred in fees for air transport, which were down 4.9pc, industrial and building cleaning, which fell 2.4pc, and human resour- ce activities, which declined 1.5pc.

Business-to-business sea and coastal transport costs were 2.8pc higher in the final quarter of 2011.

The CSO said that for the year to the end of December, sea and coastal transport costs actually rose 14.9pc, while air transport costs were 1pc higher.

Irish Independent