02 Oct 2022

Consumer prices rose 9.1% in the year to July

Consumer prices rose 9.1% in the year to July

Consumer prices rose by 9.1% in the year to July, as inflation remains at its highest level in almost four decades.

The latest figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show inflation is at the same level as June, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 9.1%.

This remains the largest annual increase in the CPI since the second quarter of 1984 when annual inflation was 9.7%

Figures show the largest increases in prices were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at a rise of 21.6%, and transport at an increase of 19.4%.

The CSO said consumer prices rose 0.4% between June and July.

People are paying more on transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, while the only decrease in the month was in clothing and footwear.

Miscellaneous goods and services and education were the only divisions to show a decrease when compared with July last year.

Speaking from Roscommon, Ireland’s deputy leader Leo Varadkar said: “The figures today show that prices are rising at about 9% a year. That’s as fast as they’ve been rising really almost in 40 years so inflation is racing ahead. I know it isn’t higher than it was last month but it’s far too soon to say it’s peaked. And even if it has peaked, 9% isn’t a good peak.

“We want to see inflation under control, we want to see prices stabilising again.”

The Tanaiste said that this was largely driven by international factors, and requires an anti-inflation strategy to tackle properly.

He added: “What we can do as a government is help to relieve the burden on people, and that’s very much what we’re working towards in the package on Budget Day. And it will be a combination of things: tax relief for working people, increases in the pension and social welfare, doing things to reduce the cost of living in areas like childcare, for example.”

Nothing is decided, nothing is yet agreed, Mr Varadkar stressed.

“People will see the first results of that in their pockets within weeks, and then a further set of actions that will come into effect in January 2023,” he added.

Anthony Dawson, a statistician in the CSO’s prices division, said: “The latest publication for the Consumer Price Index shows that prices for consumer goods and services in July 2022 increased by 9.1% on average compared with July 2021.

“This is the same level of annual inflation that was recorded in June 2022, which was the largest observed in 38 years, when annual inflation stood at 9.7% in Q2 1984.

“Prices have been rising on an annual basis since April 2021, with an annual inflation of 5% or more recorded each month since October 2021.

“The most significant increases in the year to July 2022 were seen in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels which was up 21.6%, and transport, up 19.4%.

“Increased energy costs are reflected in the yearly increase of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels driven by rises in electricity at a rise of 40%, gas at an increase of 56.6%, liquid fuels/home heating oil by 91.9% and solid fuels by 31.8% in the year.”

Mr Dawson said the annual change in transport costs reflects a rise in the cost of diesel at a rise of 44.8%, petrol which increased by 35.4%, and the purchase of motor cars and air fares compared to July last year.

He continued: “Consumer prices in July increased by 0.4% in the month.

“The divisions with the largest monthly increases were transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages and restaurants and hotels.

“The rise in transport was due to an increase in air fares and the purchase of vehicles compared with June 2022.

“However, this increase was partially offset by the price of petrol and diesel, which both fell in the month to July by 3% and 1.1% respectively.

“The only monthly decrease was seen in clothing and footwear due to sales.

“National average prices for selected CPI goods and services for June 2022 were also made available today by the CSO and show that diesel at 2.09 euro per litre and petrol at 2.15 euro per litre were up by 70 cents per litre and 65 cents per litre respectively between June 2021 and June 2022.”

The CSO also looked at the national average prices of some staple items, including bread, finding a large white sliced pan was up 18 cents in the year to June 2022, while the same size brown sliced pan was up 19 cents in the year.

Spaghetti per 500g increased by 21 cents in the year, while the average price for 2.5kg of potatoes decreased by 20 cents.

Full fat milk per 2 litres increased by 27 cents in the year, while the average price of Irish cheddar per kg rose by 1.07 euro and butter per lb rose by 48 cents.

The national average price of a take-home 50cl can of lager at 2.14 euro was up 26 cents on average from June 2021, while a take-home 50cl can of cider at 2.43 euro was up 22 cents.

In June 2022, the national average price of a pint of stout in licensed premises was 5.13 euro, up 17 cents a pint in the year, while a pint of lager was 5.53 euro, up 22 cents compared with June 2021.

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