Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Cost of living 'unchanged' in July

Clothing and footwear prices fell by 8.5 per cent in July

The fall in consumer prices stopped last month, official figures revealed.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) the Consumer Price Index was flat in July and the cost of living in the year to last month dropped by just 0.1%.

The report said the most notable changes in the year were clothing and footwear which came down by 8.5%, food and non-alcoholic drinks were down 3.8%, and furnishings and household goods fell 3.4%.

However, the CSO said the cost of education increased by 9.2% along with housing, water, electricity and gas up 5.5%.

Business federation group Ibec warned prices and costs in some areas of the economy remain high and need further cuts.

The organisation's senior economist Fergal O'Brien said: "The fact that the deflationary period is almost over is no bad thing. The trend so far this year has been largely as expected, and the return to modest levels of price growth over the coming months will have positive implications for the Exchequer and for businesses."

The CSO said prices were flat in July for only the third time in a month since deflation took hold in 2008.

The annual measure of consumer prices has recorded deflation since January 2009.

Isme, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, claimed the Government was not tackling state-regulated costs.

Isme chief Mark Fielding said: "The fact remains that the Government is doing nothing to alleviate the high cost environment for business and are missing an opportunity to regain lost competitiveness."

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