Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

0.2% increase in cost of living

Figures show the cost of living has increased by 0.7 per cent

The cost of living has increased by just 0.2% over the last year, official figures have revealed.

Reports on high street, supermarket and household costs showed the annual rate of inflation remained static over the last two months.

Increases in the price of education, alcohol, tobacco and health insurance were offset by sales for clothes and footwear, and cheaper petrol and diesel subsequently reduced transport costs including airfares.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the monthly rate of inflation was -0.1% in September but 0.2% for the 12 months to the end of the month.

Its report revealed the main reasons for low inflation over the course of the year.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose mainly due to increases in the cost of rents and electricity and gas supplies. However these figures were kept down thanks in part to lower mortgage interest repayments.

Drink and cigarettes and tobacco rose over the course of the year as the prices being charged by supermarkets and off licences for alcoholic drinks steadily increased.

There was also a knock-on effect for average prices in restaurants and hotels because of some cost rises for alcohol.

Over the year, the CSO has also recorded higher health insurance premiums but sales to boost consumer spending in clothes stores, shoe shops and furniture showrooms.

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