Deflation sets in with prices falling 0.1% in April

The decline compares to a modest rise in prices in March

Compared to March, overall prices fell 0.4 per cent. Photograph: iStock

Compared to March, overall prices fell 0.4 per cent. Photograph: iStock

 

Consumer prices were 0.1 per cent lower in April than in the same month of 2019, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

That compares to a 0.7 per cent rise in March.

The data shows that prices fell over the course of the 12-month period in the communications, clothing and footwear, and housing costs categories.

Prices in the communications category fell 8 per cent while in clothing and footwear costs were down almost 4 per cent. The price of rent, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, which are bundled together as one category, fell 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, increases were seen over the course of the year in the cost of education, which rose by 4.1 per cent, and alcoholic beverages and tobacco, which were 4 per cent higher.

The sectors driving the largest upward contribution to the consumer price index over the 12-month period were restaurants and hotels and alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Month on month

Compared to March, overall prices fell 0.4 per cent. Again the most significant declines were attributed to housing prices and clothing and footwear prices, all of which fell by 2.1 per cent.

The consumer price sub-index for services rose by 1.7 per cent in the year to April.

The CSO measures prices for the consumer price index by means of direct pricing in retail outlets and surveys by office based staff.

Prices on average, as measured by the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) increased by 0.3 per cent compared with April 2019. The HICP decreased by 0.4 per cent in the month.