Consumer prices rose by 0.5% in the year to February due to more expensive petrol and diesel as well as higher health, motor and home insurance premiums.

This marked the highest rate of inflation since last July.

The CSO said that on a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.6%.

Today's figures showed that transport costs increased by 3.6% in February of this year compared to the same time last year on the back of higher petrol and diesel prices and an increase in air fares.

These increases were partially offset by a fall in the price of cars, the CSO noted.

Prices in restaurants and hotels were also 2.1% higher, while miscellaneous goods and services - which includes insurance - rose by 2.1%.

The CSO noted that car insurance premiums rose by 4.6% in February, while premiums for home insurance jumped over 10% and health insurance payments rose 8.7%.

February also saw a 2.6% decrease in food prices, with a drop in the price of a range of items including meat, honey, chocolate, bread and vegetables. 

Furniture and furnishings and non-durable household goods were also less expensive in February while recreation and culture costs dropped by 2.4% due to lower prices for games, toys and hobbies.

Meanwhile, the CSO said that the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices, which strips out mortgages, climbed 0.5% on the month and was 0.3% higher than a year ago.