THE COST OF LIVING in Ireland rose by 0.6 per cent in the month of August – sending the annual inflation rate to its highest in five months, new figures show.
Data from the Central Statistics Office shows the cost of living had increased by 2.0 per cent in the last twelve months.
The costs of education and transport rose at the highest rates in the last year, with education costs up by 9.6 per cent and transport up by 8.3 per cent – increases which can be attributed to the increasing third-level fees and the surging cost of petrol.
On a month-by-month basis, the highest increase was seen in the clothing and footwear section – where the 6.6 per cent month-on-month increase will have taken a particular toll on families shopping for school uniforms.
The cost of home furniture rose by 0.7 per cent last month, while the price of food and recreational costs rose by 0.3 per cent.
The price of housing and home utilities, and of utilities, fell in August by 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
Excluding the costs of housing, which continues to fall as the decline in the property market goes on, inflation has risen by 3.1 per cent in the last year. Excluding mortgage interest, the cost of living has risen by 2.9 per cent.
When removing energy products, however, the price of living has only risen by 1.0 per cent in the last year – indicating the impact of continuing increases in the costs of electricity, gas and home heating oil.
When measured by the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices – the standard methodology used across all EU states – the cost of living rose by 0.8 per cent in August and by 2.6 per cent over the last year.
That annual rate matches exactly the average annual rate of inflation throughout the 17-member Eurozone.