Prices edge upwards after end of winter sales
PRICES rose by 0.8pc last month as the cost of clothes and footwear rose following the end of the winter sales.
The annual inflation rate is now 1.1pc and the biggest yearly price increases were seen for alcohol, cigarettes and education, the Central Statistics Office said.
Food prices have also been on the rise going up 2pc in the last year, although they eased back marginally in February.
In particular shoppers saw reductions for fish, pizza, chocolate, beef, sweets and rice during the month.
However pasta lovers were hit with a 4pc price increase, while tea and coffee also got dearer.
Clothes and shoe prices rose 7.1pc in the month but this was purely down to the end of the sales as they're still 2.2pc cheaper than a year ago.
But the cost of getting your hair done fell by 4pc and for beauty treatments by 3pc.
Inflation remains fairly subdued as the annual rate has fallen slightly, said Alan McQuaid of Merrion stockbrokers.
"Continued weak consumer demand will put downward pressure on prices in the months ahead. The fiscal measures announced in Budget 2013 will again hit disposable incomes, which in turn will weigh negatively on spending power," he said.
The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association called for a pay freeze on salaries and all government-imposed costs.
This would help the country regain competitiveness instead of losing any gains to wage and price inflation, said its chief executive Mark Fielding.