THE COST OF LIVING rose by 0.9 per cent in February, according to new figures published this morning.
The Central Statistics Office said the inflation rate reached 0.9 per cent last month, meaning the cost of living was up by 2.1 per cent when compared to the same month last year. This was down from the 2.2 per cent annual increase in January, however.
The increase was largely as a result of a significant increase in the cost of clothing and footwear, which was up by 8.2 per cent compared to January.
Transport costs were up by 2.7 per cent, meanwhile – largely as a result of increased costs for intercity train fares – while furniture costs were up by 1.6 per cent.
February has traditionally seen an increase in the cost of living when compared to January, a month where prices are usually quite low as a result of post-Christmas sales. Monthly inflation was also up by 0.9 per cent in February 2011, and by 0.4 per cent in February 2010.
When calculated on an annual basis, the cost of education had risen most steeply – by 9.4 per cent – while housing costs were up by 5.8 per cent – and transport costs by 4.8 per cent.
When calculated on a harmonised European basis, inflation was up by 1.1 per cent last month and by 1.6 per cent compared to February 2011. This compares to an average rate of 2.7 per cent in the eurozone.