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Fuel hikes push up consumer prices

Hikes in petrol, diesel and home heating fuel pushed up consumer prices at the end of December, official figures have revealed.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), prices rose by 1.3% over the previous 12 months and were up 0.2% from November.

But the report also revealed the cost of living fell by an average of 1% in 2010, compared with 4.5% for 2009 and inflation of 4.1% for 2008.

Householders saw the biggest rises in the year in utility bills, up almost 10%, and transport costs, which had a 3.7% rise.

The CSO said miscellaneous goods and services rose by 3.4% while there were decreases in clothing and footwear, down 4.1%, alcohol and tobacco, down 3%, and education, down 3%.

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