Tuesday 20 March 2018

Prices fall as inflation hits lowest level in three years

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

PRICES fell marginally last month meaning annual inflation is at its lowest level in nearly three years.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show prices fell 0.1pc in May, and annual inflation is down to 0.4pc.

Drivers benefitted from a drop in fuel prices last month of 3.3pc for diesel and 2.5pc for petrol, with the cost of filling up now over 5pc lower than it was a year ago.

The most significant increases in the last year have been a 4.8pc rise in education costs because of higher third level charges and a 4.3pc hike in alcohol prices due to government excise hikes.

Food prices are up 1.5pc in the last year, with increases for cheese, processed fish, potatoes and crisps last month.

The price of potatoes is now a massive 36pc higher than it was this time last year.

Clothes and footwear prices fell by 0.6pc in May and were 2.7pc lower than a year ago - a fall that may have been caused by bad weather discouraging shoppers from making new summer purchases.

Homeowners on tracker mortgages benefitted from further falls in interest rates meaning repayments fell 2pc in May and are 8.4pc lower than a year ago.

Private rents continued to rise however and are now 5.6pc higher than a year ago.

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