Annual consumer prices rose in May on the back of higher rents and more expensive petrol and diesel.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that consumer prices were up 0.4% in May compared to the same time last year.  Prices had fallen for the first time in nine months in April.

The CSO said that prices increased by 0.6% on a monthly basis.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel prices were up 5.5% in May on the back of higher rents and an increase in the price of home heating oil and electricity.

Restaurants and hotel prices increased by 2.4% mainly due to higher prices for alcohol and food in licensed premises and restaurants and an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation.

Transport costs also rose mainly due to higher prices for diesel and petrol, a rise in air fares and an increase in the cost of hiring personal transport equipment. However, these were partially offset by a decrease in the cost of motor cars.

May saw lower health and motor insurance premiums as well as lower prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care.

Food and drinks prices also fell due to lower prices across a range of products such as meat, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, vegetables and bread and cereals.