Consumer prices rise at fastest monthly pace in two years
New figures show that consumer prices rose at their fastest monthly pace in two years in March to stand at the same level a year earlier, when the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit Ireland.
The Central Statistics Office said the 0.8% monthly rise in March was driven by increased energy, housing and transport costs.
The March increase ended 11 months in a row where prices were stuck in negative territory on a year-on-year basis.
Today’s figures show that clothing and footwear costs fell by 6.5% on an annual basis due to sales. Transport costs decreased by 2.7% due to a reduction in air fares, but this fall was partially offset by higher prices for cars and an increase in diesel and petrol prices.
The price of some food and non-alcoholic beverages also decreased due to lower prices across a range of products such as meat, chocolate and jams, marmalades and honey.
March saw an increase in the cost of electricity, higher mortgage interest repayments and a rise in the price of home heating oil, which were partially offset by lower rents and a reduction in the cost of natural gas.
Health costs also increased mainly due to a rise in the cost of dental and medical services. This rise was partially offset by lower prices for pharmaceutical products, the CSO said.