Inflation in Ireland was 0.3% higher in the year to January 2017, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The latest Consumer Price Index shows the most notable changes in the past year were in the cost of transport (+2.8%), restaurants & hotels (+2%), and education (+1.7%).

Higher fuel prices and air fares contributed to the increased prices in transport, although a fall in the price of cars partially offset this.

Meanwhile, over the same period the cost household furnishings & maintenance (-5.5%), clothing & footwear (-2.6%), communications (-2.6%), and food & non-alcoholic beverages (-2.4%) all dropped.

The CSO data also show that in January consumer prices fell by 0.5%, compared with a 0.8% drop for the same month last year.

The price of clothing and footwear last month was 9% lower (mainly due to January sales), while the cost of alcohol and tobacco rose by 1.5% on a monthly basis.

The CSO also announced today that it has changed the basket of goods and services it uses to measure inflation from January's figures.

The new basket includes larger TVs, craft beers, champagne, and for the first time TV streaming services.

Meanwhile, clock radios, blank CDs, and camcorders have all been removed.

The basket is updated every five years to reflect consumer habits.
 

Commenting on the figures, Alan McQuaid from Merrion Economics said: "Despite the booming Irish economy, inflationary pressures as measured by the headline CPI should in our view remain fairly well contained in the immediate future.

"That said, the cost of services like insurance and education are likely to remain elevated.

"The annual rise in motor car insurance was 6.3% in the opening month of 2017, albeit down from 8.8% in December and 11.7% in November.

"Oil prices will be critical in determining the headline inflation outlook over the next twelve months or so, but they remain volatile and hard to predict given the uncertainty over potential OPEC output cuts.

"Still, we think prices will be higher on average this year than in 2016.

"However, the more immediate worry on the inflation front is likely to come with increased wage demands. Indeed, we have already seen this with public-sector workers."