Housing and hospitality lead rise in consumer prices

New CSO figures show consumer prices increased by 1.1% in the year to March

Higher prices for alcoholic drinks led to increased costs in the hospitality space

Higher prices for alcoholic drinks led to increased costs in the hospitality space

 

Consumer prices rose by 1.1 per cent in the year to March on the back of increased prices in housing and utilities, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The statistics also show a rise in costs in a number of other areas, including hospitality and education.

March marks the first time the annual inflation rate has broken 1 per cent in six years. In the year to February prices were up 0.6 per cent.

The largest increases in the year were in housing and utilities-related costs, which rose 4.3 per cent. The hospitality sector recorded a 3.6 per cent increase in prices largely due to higher costs for alcohol.

In contrast, the biggest decline in prices was in furnishings and household equipment, which was 3.2 per cent lower.

On a monthly basis consumer prices were up 0.8 per cent in March, largely due to increased costs for transport, which was up 3.2 per cent, and clothing and footwear, up 1.5 per cent.For the same month a year earlier prices increased by 0.3 per cent.

“With the economy continuing to grow strongly, the more immediate worry on the domestic inflation front centres around increased wage demands, particularly in the public service. As the labour market approaches full employment levels, wage growth will pick up,” said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Cantor.