Belfast Telegraph

Cost of living remains unchanged

The cost of living remained unchanged last month and is up just 0.5% over the last year.

According to the consumer price index, the inflation rate was mainly being driven over the last 12 months because of increases in the cost of drink and education.

However, that was offset by cheaper clothes and household goods, communications and some transport costs.

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco are up 5.3% over the last year following budget and industry increases while education continues to become more expensive, up 4.8%. Increases in health insurance premiums have pushed the cost of cover up by 3.2%, the Central Statistics Office said.

Communications were up overall in April by just 0.2% but down by a significant 4.6% over the last year, compared to a fall of 0.3% for the previous 12 months. The CSO recorded a large jump in the cost of postal services, up 7.5%, in April this year.

Elsewhere, cheaper flights in the month saw air travel come down by 18% while other transport costs fell by 0.8% and 1.5% in the year to April.

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