Sunday 20 October 2019

Inflation up due to rent and health insurance increases

(stock photo)
(stock photo)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Higher rents and health insurance costs have pushed up inflation for September.

Prices are now rising annually at a rate of 0.9pc, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Restaurants and pubs charging more for drinks and food were also behind the increase in the consumer price index.

Increases in the cost of natural gas sent the index up also, although the increase was partially offset by a reduction in the price of home-heating oil.

Home-heating oil costs had been rising for months up to now.

The move by the Vhi, Laya and Irish Life Health to push up premium rates has contributed to the inflation rate, the CSO said.

There are fears of further price rises from three health insurers.

Some of the health insurers have imposed two premium rate rises this year, ending a price war that was raging for two years.

Statisticians recorded higher prices for hairdressing salons and personal grooming.

This increase was partially offset by lower prices for appliances and products for personal care and lower motor insurance premiums.

The CSO said motor premiums were down by 3.2pc in the year to September.

However, questions have been raised about the reliability of the insurance statistics as the figures used to compile the data are supplied by insurers. Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has been among those questioning the accuracy of the insurance prices data.

Food prices fell in the month, due to lower prices across a range of products such as milk, cheese, eggs, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery. Clothing and footwear prices decreased due to sales.

The rise of 0.9pc in September compares with a rise of 0.7pc in August, the CSO said.

Irish Independent

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