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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Dec 12, 2013 - 3:17 PM

Irish Economy 2013: Annual consumer price inflation at 0.3% in November
By Finfacts Team
Dec 12, 2013 - 3:14 PM

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Irish Economy 2013: Annual consumer price inflation 0.3% higher in November compared with November 2012, according to the CSO today.

The most notable changes in the year were increases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+6.2%), Education (+4.5%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+3.1%). There were decreases in Clothing & Footwear (-4.6%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-4.2%), Communications (-3.1%) and Transport (-1.7%).

Consumer prices in November fell by 0.2% in the month. This compares to a decrease of 0.4% recorded in November of last year. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in Transport (-1.4%) and Health (-0.8%). There were increases in Restaurants & Hotels (+0.6%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.4%).

The main factors contributing to the annual change were as follows:

  • Restaurants & Hotels increased due to higher prices for alcohol consumed on licensed premises;
  • Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco rose due to higher prices for alcohol sold in off licences and supermarkets and higher tobacco prices;
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services increased mainly due to higher health insurance premiums;
  • Education rose due to an increase in third level education costs;
  • Transport fell due to decreases in petrol and diesel and motor car prices;
  • Clothing & Footwear fell due to clothing and footwear sales.

The annual rate of inflation for Services was 2.2% in the year to November, while Goods decreased by 1.9%. Services, excluding mortgage interest repayments, increased by 3.0% in the year since November 2012.

The CPI excluding tobacco for November decreased by 0.2% in the month and rose by 0.2% in the year. The CPI excluding energy products remained unchanged in the month and increased by 0.7% in the year. The CPI excluding mortgage interest decreased by 0.1% in the month and was up by 0.7% in the year.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices: Prices on average, as measured by the EU's HICP, increased by 0.3% compared with November 2012. The most notable changes in the year were increases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+6.1%), Education (+4.5%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+3.6%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+3.0%). There were decreases in Clothing & Footwear (-4.5%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-4.2%), Communications (-3.1%) and Transport (-2.8%).

The EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) fell 0.1% in the month, compared to a decrease of 0.5% in November of last year.

David McNamara, economist at Davy, commented: "Mortgage interest costs, linked to the ECB rate, were down 6% in the year to September, while energy prices, linked to movements in oil prices, were down 2.8%. In contrast, domestically-driven services price inflation (excluding mortgage interest) was up 3% year-on-year, pointing to healthy growth in the domestic economy. Goods price inflation was down 1.9%, again driven by waning external price pressures on imports into the country.

The sub-sectors exerting upward pressure on the index over the year were Alcohol and Tobacco (+6.2%), Education (+4.5%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+3.1%). While these rises were largely offset by energy and mortgage interest, other sectors contributing to the weak headline number were Clothing & Footwear (-4.6%), Household Equipment & Maintenance (-4.2%) and Communications (-3.1%).

The continued weakness of import prices is a welcome boost to households’ spending power in the run-up to the Christmas period and should mean further expansion in real wages in Q4 if the positive momentum in the labour market is maintained."

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