Friday, June 20 15:32:59
Prices rose in May across a range of goods and services, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
On average prices were up by 0.4pc in May compared with May 2013 but much higher increases were evident in some sectors including education, which was up 4.5pc.
The price of goods and services rose by 4pc, while alcohol and tobacco were up 3.4pc. It cost 2.2pc more to eat out or stay in a hotel compared with the same time last year, the Consumer Price Index shows.
Price reductions were recorded in communications (-4.7pc), clothing and footwear (-3.5pc), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-3.2pc) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (-1.9pc)
Consumer prices in May, as measured by the CPI, remained unchanged in the month.
The CSO said the main factors contributing to the annual change were higher health and motor insurance premiums and the increased costs associated with the local property tax. Restaurants and hotel price increases are attributed to higher prices for alcoholic drinks, hotel accommodation and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes, and canteens. The price of alcohol and tobaccor rose because of price hikes in off licences and supermarkets.
Reductions in car and diesel prices were factors in reduced transport costs, as was lower airfares.
While lower food prices were put down to price cuts for products such as vegetables, cereals, bread and fruit, lower clothing and footwear prices were a product of fewer sales, the CSO said.