Household and transport costs drive 5% annual increase in consumer prices

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IRISH CONSUMER PRICES were on average 5% higher in January than they were a year previous, with transport and household energy costs driving the increases, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has said.

The Consumer Price Index for January 2022, released today, displays eye-watering increases in the cost of fuels compared with the same time last year, with the price of home heating oil rising 50% and petrol jumping nearly 30%.

However, it wasn’t all bad news as the overall index of prices dropped slightly (-0.4%) compared with the previous month, ending a run of 14 consecutive months of inflation.

Car fuel is significantly more expensive than last year, with diesel jumping by 32% while petrol rose 29.5%.

Prices at the pump have surged over the past 12 months due to rising oil prices and a carbon tax increase in October’s Budget.

The CSO’s blended household fuels measure increased by 27% in the last year and 1% on the previous month.

Electricity rose by 22% year-on-year and gas rose 28%. By far the biggest increase was seen in home heating oil, which rose 50% since January 2021 and over 4% since December.

In a Red C poll last month, almost half of unemployed people and single parents said they had cut back on essential heating and electricity because of cost increases. 

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Another notable increase was recorded in the price of take-home alcoholic beverages, which rose by more than 17% on the last month and almost 9% in the past year. This coincides with the introduction of minimum unit alcohol pricing. 

The CSO recorded a 2.6% increase in the price of recreation and cultural activities while there were decreases in clothing and footwear (-3.7%) and miscellaneous goods and services (-0.8%). 

The statistics included a break-down of individual prices of standard items bought by households.

Among the products showing the biggest increases were bread and pasta (both up 7%), crisps (+8%), lamb and goat (+9.7%) and margarine and other vegetable fats (+12%).

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