Rate of inflation hits 8.5% with big rises in housing, food and fuel – figures
The annual rate of inflation hit 8.5% in February, up from 7.8% in January.
The Central Statistics Office’s latest Consumer Price Index data showed that February was the 17th straight month where the annual rate of inflation had shown an increase of at least 5%.
The largest increases were a 26% rise in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and a 13.1% rise in food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Education (-6.3%) and miscellaneous goods and services (-0.1%) were the only divisions to show a decrease when compared with February 2022.
The figures mean consumer prices rose by 1.6% in the month between January and February of this year.
“Prices have been rising on an annual basis since April 2021, with annual inflation of 5.0% or more recorded in each month since October 2021,” CSO statistician Anthony Dawson said.
There was a yearly growth of 62.7% in electricity prices, 86.1% in gas prices, 17.3% for home-heating oil and 46.1% for solid fuels.
The cost of sugar increased by 30.8% while frozen fish increased by 26.9%, fresh whole milk by 26.8% and eggs rose by 22.9%.
The Consumer Price Index is designed to measure the change in the average level of prices paid for consumer goods and services.
Approximately 50,000 prices are collected for a representative basket consisting of 615 item headings in a fixed panel of retail and service outlets throughout the country.