New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that consumer prices rose by a slightly stronger than expected 0.4% in June compared with the same time last year on the back of higher insurance premiums and restaurant and hotel prices.

This was the biggest rise since August 2014.

The CSO said that motor insurance jumped by 38.6% in June compared to the same time last year, which pushed up overall miscellaneous goods and services by 5.9%. 

Education costs also rose by 3.8% on an annual basis in June, while prices in restaurants and hotels increased by 2.9% due to higher costs of eating out. Health care costs also climbed 2% higher. 

These increases were offset by lower prices for transport - down 4% on the back of cheaper petrol and diesel as well as cheaper cars.

Clothing and footwear costs fell by 2.7% due to sales, while the price of some food was also lower, including the likes of meat, sugar, bread and cereals and chocolate.

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that oil prices will be critical in determining the headline inflation outlook over the next 12 months or so. 

He said there are signs that prices may have stabilised, with a barrel of Brent crude currently trading at around $47. 

"Higher oil prices, if sustained, would push the CPI up as the year goes on. Indeed, base effects relating to energy costs suggest the annual inflation rate could end the year in the 1% to 1.5% range," the economist added.

Mr McQuaid also said that the big worry on the inflation front going forward may come with wages. 

He said the revised economic growth numbers for last year showing GDP up over 26% will not help policymakers, as more and more people will be looking for a piece of this "super-growth pie".

This will likely lead "to over-aggressive demands on the remuneration front, which if granted, will do more damage than good in the long-run", he stated.