Belfast Telegraph

Cost of education on the increase

The cost of education has soared by almost 10% in the last year, according to official figures.

An increase in third level costs was the main factor behind the rise over the 12 months to September, with petrol and diesel prices fuelling a jump in transport costs and higher health insurance premiums adding to bills for goods and services for the home.

But the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed the annual inflation rate managed to ease to 1.6%, falling from 2% recorded in August. The CSO said utility bills were down by almost 3% in the year, but the figure is expected to soar when recently announced price hikes in electricity and gas hit householders.

There was also a 2.6% reduction in both communication costs, and household furnishings and maintenance.

The most significant monthly price change from August was a decrease in transport of 1.1%, calculated when increases in petrol and diesel prices were offset by a fall in airfares.

Clothing and footwear increased by almost 3%, mainly due to a further recovery in prices following the traditional summer sales, and buying alcohol and tobacco rose because of higher prices for beer and spirits sold in off licences and supermarkets.

The annual rate of inflation for services was 1.2% in the year to September, while goods increased by 2%.

Elsewhere, figures from across the EU showed the harmonised index of consumer prices rose by an average 2.7% in the year to August, with Ireland at 2.6%.

The highest rate was Hungary (6%) followed by Cyprus (4.5%), while Sweden had the lowest rate of inflation (0.9%). The United Kingdom had an annual increase of 2.5%.

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From Belfast Telegraph