Rate of inflation continued to cool in April

Services saw inflation of 1.7% but price of goods fell by 1%

The cost of alcohol and beverages has increased 5.3 per cent in the last 12 months.  Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

The cost of alcohol and beverages has increased 5.3 per cent in the last 12 months. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

Thu, May 9, 2013, 11:42

Ireland’s headline inflation rate remained flat last month just as it did twelve months ago, according to new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Inflation as measured by the consumer price index was 0.5 per cent on an annual basis.

The CSO data shows the most significant annual price increases were in increases in alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+5.3 per cent), education (+4.8 per cent) and miscellaneous goods & services (+2.5 per cent). There were decreases in communications (-4.6 per cent), furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-3.4 per cent) and clothing & footwear (-1.8 per cent).

The annual rate of inflation for services was 1.7 per cent to the end of April although the price of goods decreased by 1.0 per cent. When mortgage interest repayments are stripped out services increased by 2.5 per cent in the year since April 2012.

Isme, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, warned the Government against complacency over the figures which it said masked real increased government costs.

“If we are serious about making the transition from a reliance on domestic demand to a sustainable export-led growth, we must bring all of our costs in line with our trading partners,” said ISME chief executive, Mark Fielding.

“The reality, from a business viewpoint, is that state cost increases, in particular, utility costs, local authority rates and charges continue to negatively impact businesses, who themselves have cut their manageable costs to the bone.”