Annual inflation 0.4pc higher due to charge increases

PRICES rose last month due to electricity suppliers and restaurants increasing their charges.

Average prices were 0.4pc higher in December compared with the same month in the previous year.

This was despite a slight fall in prices in the month of December, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The annual rate of inflation rose due to higher housing and home energy prices.

Four energy companies hiked their prices from the start of last month. These include Energia, Flogas, PrePayPower and Pinergy.

The price increases are set to put pressure on household budgets and came just ahead of the expensive Christmas period.

Broadband and TV providers Sky and Vodafone also had price increases kicking in from the start of the month.

The CSO figures also shows there were also hikes imposed by restaurants and hotels, while transport costs increased due to State owned providers increasing fares.

Overall prices remain muted due to the weakness of sterling compared with the euro.

However, rents continue to rise. There were 6pc more expensive than in the same month a year previously.

There were decreases in clothing and footwear, furnishings, household equipment and household maintenance, the CSO said.

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