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Lower food and fuel prices, but insurance is up

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Bitter taste: But the taste of alcohol is up

Bitter taste: But the taste of alcohol is up

Bitter taste: But the taste of alcohol is up

HiKES in prices for health and motor insurance along with alcohol were offset by lower costs for food, clothes, and fuel in the past year.

The Consumer Price Index showed an increase of just 0.1pc in the past year.

The most notable changes in the year from November 2013 to November this year also involved higher hotel and restaurant prices.

The biggest hike in annual costs for consumers was for education costs which rose by 5pc, according to the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures.

Alcohol and tobacco increased by 3.7pc due to higher prices being charged in supermarkets and off-licences.

Bargains

Miscellaneous goods and services rose by 4pc, primarily due to costs associated with the local property tax and higher health and motor insurance premiums.

The cost of hotel accommodation and eating out in restaurants and cafés rose by 1.6pc.

The biggest annual fall in prices for consumers were in clothing and footwear when average prices in shops tumbled by 3.2pc, largely due to sale bargains.

Food and non-alcoholic drinks fell by 2.6pc and the main reductions were for meat, vegetables, bread and cereals.

Furniture, household equipment and household maintenance prices fell by 2.3pc.

Transport costs also fell, decreasing by 2pc over the 12 month period. This was due to lower petrol and diesel prices and a reduction in the price of cars.

When CSO staff examined changes in prices solely within the month of November this year, they found that consumer prices fell by 0.3pc.

The biggest fall in prices last month was for transport, when costs fell by 1.7pc, primarily due to falls in petrol and diesel and lower air fares.

Housing, electricity, gas and other fuels fell by 0.5pc last month due to decreases in mortgage interest payments and reductions in the cost of electricity and home heating oil.

Restaurant and hotel prices actually fell by 0.5pc in November.

Last month also saw a 1.2pc hike in clothing and footwear prices due to prices coming back up after the end of in-store sales.

There was also a 0.6pc rise in what the CSO called "recreation and culture".

Building and construction activity has continued to rise.

On an annual basis, the volume of output in building and construction increased by 10.1pc in the third quarter of 2014.

Construction

There was an increase of 11pc in the value of production in the same period.

The annual rise in the volume of output reflects year-on-year increases of 19.1pc for residential building work, a 13.4pc increase in civil engineering work and a 2.5pc increase in non-residential building work.

When dealing solely with building and construction output in the July-September period compared to the previous period of April-June, it rose slightly by 0.1pc.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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