Consumer prices rose by 0.8% on an annual basis in July, according to the Central Statistics Office, pushed up by higher rents and fuel costs.

That is double the rate of growth recorded in May and June and is the highest annual increase since April 2017.

According to the CSO the price of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels was 5.4% higher year-on-year.

This was led by a 6% rise in the amount paid in private rents, though mortgage interest payments fell by 0.6%.

Meanwhile the price of glectricity, gas and other fuels rose by almost 10%, reflecting tariff increases by some utility firms due to higher international oil costs.

Elsewhere, the CSO said that the price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 2.8% in the year, while transport prices were up 2.2%.

That is also owing to rising oil prices, as petrol and diesel prices rose by 11.2% and 14.2% respectively.

Offsetting that somewhat was a 1.5% fall in the price of vehicles.

Meanwhile the CSO also recorded a 6.7% decline in the price of motor insurance - with rates charged on motor cycle policies seeing the most significant fall.