Consumer prices up 0.1% in January as insurance costs soarThursday 18 February 2016 19.07
New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that consumer prices rose by 0.1% in January of this year compared to the same time last year with the cost of motor insurance surging over 30%.
Today's CSO figures show the cost of all insurance - motor, home and health - rose by 9.7% in January.
Education costs rose by 3.8% due to the extra expenses related to third level education.
Prices in restaurants and hotels were also higher - rising by 1.5% - on the back of an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation and higher prices for eating out.
But transport costs were down by 2.5% due to cheaper petrol and diesel, as well as a fall in air fares and cheaper car prices.
Clothing and footwear prices were also lower in January - down 4.1% - due to sales, while lower prices across a range of food products such as meat, cheese, milk and eggs were also evident.
On a monthly basis, the CSO said consumer prices fell by 0.8% in January compared to December, with the biggest monthly decreases seen in the clothing and footwear, furnishings and transport sectors.
Prices for alcohol and tobacco were higher as well as the cost of miscellaneous goods and services, which includes insurance and the likes of hairdressing and personal care products.
Commenting on the CSO figures, Alan McQuaid from Merrion Economics said that despite the booming Irish economy, inflationary pressures are likely to remain fairly well contained in the immediate future, mainly because of lower oil prices.
But the economist said that the cost of services like insurance and education look set to continue to rise.
"Oil prices will be critical in determining the headline inflation outlook over the next twelve months or so. The decision by Russia and Saudi Arabia to cap production should help stabilise the oil price in the near-term but the market is likely to remain volatile. Still, we think prices will recover somewhat in 2016 as the year goes on," Mr McQuaid said.
"With prices falling into negative territory, the danger was that deflation became entrenched, though we don’t see this as an issue here in Ireland. Indeed, there is 'good deflation' and 'bad deflation' and what we are seeing at the moment is 'good deflation' in our view," he said.
"Continued low inflation in Euroland will mean easier ECB monetary policy being in place for longer, and indeed the central bank has already indicated that it plans to announce more easing at its March 10 meeting. That should be good news for consumers, though whether it feeds through into lower variable mortgage rates here in Ireland remains to be seen," he added.