Consumer prices fell on an annual basis for the third month in a row in June, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

The CSO said that consumer prices fell by 0.4% in June compared to a five-year low drop of 0.5% in May.

Consumer prices were 0.3% higher month-on-month, the first monthly rise since March, the CSO added.

The CSO said that housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel prices fell by 2.3% last month mainly due to a reduction in the price of home heating oil, electricity and gas. This reduction was partially offset by higher mortgage interest repayments.

The price of clothing and footwear decreased by 5.1% due to sales, while June also saw lower prices for petrol and diesel with overall transport costs down 1.7%. 

But prices rose across a range of services, includings higher prices in restaurants and bars and higher prices in hotels.  

More expensive health insurance premiums and increased childcare costs also contributed to the cost of living. 

Economist Alan McQuaid said that due to Covid-19 restrictions, unprecedented changes in household consumption patterns continued in June.

The economist said it is estimated that households, on average, were unable to consume 25.5% of the goods and services in the Consumer Price Index basket in June, the same figure as the previous month.

These goods and services included air transport, package holidays, restaurants, pubs and hotels; creches and pre-schools; hairdressers, health and beauty services; recreational and sporting activities such as cinemas and theatres; and wedding services.