Food and rent increases drive slight increase in inflation
FOOD and rent prices are on the increase, but mortgage and transport costs have fallen.
New inflation figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the cost of living overall is up 0.5pc in the last year.
Prices overall remained unchanged during April, meaning annual inflation has remained at its lowest level in nearly three years.
But shoppers saw price increases of more than 5pc for lamb and pizza and of almost 4pc for crisps, chocolate and fish last month, meaning overall food prices are up by 1.6pc in the last year.
But while private rents are up by 5pc, mortgage costs are down 6.8pc in the last year - and last week's European Central Bank interest rate cut will bring that down further for those on tracker mortgages.
Alcohol prices are up over 5pc in the last year, mainly due to a budget excise cut, but there was some relief for drinkers as wine prices actually fell by 3.8pc last month.
Transport costs are down by 1.5pc in the last year, mainly due to an 18pc fall in airfares in April, though diesel prices also fell slightly.
Consumers were also hit with a 3.2pc increase in health insurance premiums.
Alan McQuaid of Merrion Capital said that austerity measures such as the property tax would continue to hit disposable incomes and dampen consumer demand.
"It is now hard to see the average inflation rate for the year as a whole coming in much higher than 1pc as against 1.7pc and 2.6pc in 2012 and 2011 respectively," he said.