Consumer prices in Ireland are rising at the fastest rate in 25 years

Rising fuel, electricity and food prices caused consumer prices to rise 1.9 percent between February and March this year, the sharpest monthly increase since the index began in 1997, the CSO said.

Inflation has risen to a 22-year high of 6.7 percent, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release shows that prices for consumer goods and services increased by an average of 6.7 percent in March compared to March 2021.

That’s an increase of 5.6 percent in the year through February.

The rise of more than a point is the largest since November 2000, when inflation was 7 percent, the Central Statistics Office said.

Prices have risen annually since April 2021, with annual inflation at 5 percent or more every month since this October.

The CPI’s annual rise over the past month is the largest seen since annual inflation hit 7.0 percent in November 2000.

According to the CSO, the biggest gains this year have been in transportation, which is up 18.7 percent, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels are up 17.4 percent, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco are up 7 percent .

The annual change in transportation costs reflects an increase in the cost of diesel (+46 percent), petrol (+35.2 percent) and air fares (+69.2 percent) compared to March 2021.

Rising energy costs are reflected in the annual increase in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, with electricity up 22.4 percent, gas up 27.9 percent, liquid fuels (heating oil) up 126.6 percent and solid fuels up increased by 20.5 percent.

Meanwhile, miscellaneous goods & services (-1pc), apparel & footwear (-0.8pc), and education (-0.8pc) were the only business sectors that recorded a decline compared to March 2021.

Commenting on the monthly changes shown in the data, Colin Cotter, statistician at the CSO, said consumer prices rose 1.9 percent on the month in March.

“The divisions with the biggest monthly gains were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, and transportation, both up 5 percent,” he said.

“Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose due to an increase in the cost of heating oil (+58.5 percent), solid fuel (+11.6 percent) and higher rents (+0.8 percent), while transport prices conditionally increased due to higher prices for diesel (+17.3 pcs.), gasoline (+10.2 pcs.) and flight prices (+18.2 pcs.) compared to February 2022.

“The largest monthly decline was seen in clothing and footwear (-0.9 percent), driven by clothing sales.”

The national average prices for selected CPI goods and services for February 2022 were also announced by the CSO.

The data shows that diesel at €1.66 per liter and petrol at €1.75 per liter fell by 40.7 cents per liter (+32.5 percent) and 40.8 cents per liter between February 2021 and February 2022, respectively (+30.3 percent) have increased.

The national median price of bread (large 800g pan with white slices) rose 13.6 cents in the year to February 2022, while the cost of a brown pan with the same size slices rose 20.6 cents over the same period.

Fresh cod fillet per kg rose by 23.3 cents, while the average price for 2.5 kg of potatoes fell by 18.2 cents.

The national average price for a 50cl can of lager to go was €2.18, an average of 26.8 cents higher than in February 2021, while a 50cl can of cider rose by 13.5 cents to €2.36 is.

In February 2022, the national average price for a pint of stout in on-bars was €4.95, while a pint of lager was €5.33. The February 2021 CPI collection period at the price of a pint is not available due to last year’s lockdown.

Speaking of RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland Program professor of agriculture and food economics and UCD Michael Wallace said food prices are facing a “perfect storm of inflationary pressures”.

He said the pressure had been “increased” by the war in Ukraine and was likely to “continue for an extended period of time”.

“What we’ve particularly noticed are dramatic increases in products like bread and breakfast cereals, pasta and cooking oils,” he said.

“We’re starting to see that, and particularly products like sunflower oil, with Ukraine and Russia accounting for two-thirds of the sunflower supply.”

Prof Wallace said supply pressures are likely to “spill over” and lead to price increases in other markets that rely on sunflowers as commodities.

He said if the crisis continues, consumers could face “shortages” of some products. Consumer prices in Ireland are rising at the fastest rate in 25 years

Fry Electronics Team

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