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Higher rents and mortgages push inflation higher

The annual inflation rate in August rose to 0.7% from 0.5% a month earlier, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

Inflation had risen above 1% year-on-year for the first time in six years in March but slipped back below that level in July.

August saw consumer prices rising on the back of higher rents and mortgage repayments as well as increased health insurance premiums and more expensive hair cuts at hairdressers.

The latest figures from the CSO also show that prices in restaurants and hotels also increased last month, while the price of tobacco products rose.

But prices for furniture and furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles fell in August, while clothing and footwear prices were also lower on the back of sales.

The CSO noted that transport costs fell mainly due to a reduction in airfares and lower prices for petrol and diesel.

These decreases were partially offset by an increase in the cost of other services in respect of personal transport equipment and higher prices for cars.

Separate figures from the CSO today show that among 37 countries in Europe in 2018, Ireland was the eighth most expensive for food.
Ireland was also the second most expensive for non-alcoholic drinks, including minerals, water, tea and coffee.

Meanwhile, we are fourth most expensive for alcohol and third most expensive for tobacco.

The CSO said that consumer price levels in Ireland are broadly at the same level as Nordic countries such as Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

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