Business News

Falling fuel costs balance family budgets

Motor insurance premiums and education costs soared in the past 12 months, but the increases were offset by falling fuel costs and clothing discounts to help households balance their budgets.

The latest figures form the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as part of the consumer price index, show that prices, on average, remain the same as this time last year. Education costs were the most significant increase – jumping by 5pc compared with August 2014.

Communications (+2.5pc), restaurants and hotels (+1.9pc) and miscellaneous goods and services (+1.8pc) all showed noticeable increases.

The rate of deflation had posted a deficit month-on-month for the last four months, before the latest figures were released.

The increases were balanced by clothing and footwear, where costs fell by almost 5pc.

The CSO also recorded falls in costs relating to transport, which fell by 3.3pc, and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, which dipped by 2.6pc.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages fell by 2.3pc. On the month-on-month comparison, prices rose by 0.4pc – compared with those from July 2014.

Prices rose by 0.2pc in August 2014.

The main factors contributing to August’s prices were lower petrol and diesel prices and a reduction in the price of cars, which were partially offset by an increase in air, bus and taxi fares.

Hotel and restaurant prices increased – primarily due to an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation, and higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, and cafés.

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