New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that consumer prices in July fell by 0.2% on a monthly basis due to lower prices for clothes and footwear, furnishings and household equipment as well as lower health insurance premiums.

However, transport prices rose last month on the back of more expensive airfares and petrol and diesel, while hotel accommodation was also dearer.

Today's figures show that inflation on an annual basis rose by 0.3% in July compared to the same month last year.

The CSO said the main annual prices increases were seen in restaurants and hotels, while it also noted higher motor insurance premiums and higher alcohol prices.

The price of a range of food - including vegetables, meat, bread and cereals - fell in July from the same month last year while prices for furniture and furnishings, and non-durable household goods like washing powder were also lower. 

The CSO said that clothing and footwear prices fell by 7% in July compared to June, while miscellaneous goods and services fell 1.1% and furnishings and household equipment also decreased by 1.1%. 

Transport costs rose by 1.8%, prices in restaurants and hotels increased by 0.5% while alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices grew by 0.4%.  

On a yearly basis, communication costs fell by 5.1%, clothing and footwear prices eased by 3.6% while food and non-alcoholic beverage prices decreased by 3%. However, education costs rose by 4.5%, while alcoholic drinks and tobacco prices increased by 3.7% and hotel and restaurant prices rose by 2.5%.

The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), which strips out mortgages, was unchanged at 0.5% in the year to July, the CSO added today.