In­fla­tion re­mains weak at 0.2%, Consumer Price In­dex shows

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - EOIN BURKE-KENNEDY

In­fla­tion­ary pres­sure in the econ­omy re­mains ex­tremely weak, with the lat­est Consumer Price In­dex show­ing prices na­tion­ally rose by only 0.2 per cent in the year to March, down from 0.5 per cent in Fe­bru­ary.

The main monthly changes af­fect­ing the in­dex in March were in­creases in the cost of cloth­ing and footwear, which rose 1.6 per cent. This was linked to the end of the early-year sales. The cost of trans­port, which in­cludes car prices and air fares, rose 1.5 per cent, while restau­rants and hotel ac­com­mo­da­tion prices climbed 0.9 per cent in the month. There were de­creases in mis­cel­la­neous goods and ser­vices (-0.9 per cent), which in­cludes health in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums and the cost of per­sonal care prod­ucts. The aver­age cost of mo­tor in­sur­ance fell 13.8 per cent year-on-year in Fe­bru­ary, the lat­est numbers show.

“De­spite strong Ir­ish eco­nomic growth there is lit­tle sign of sus­tained pres­sure on the prices front, which ap­pears to be the same story across the euro zone, sug­gest­ing that the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank will be in no hurry to in­crease in­ter­est rates,” said Mer­rion an­a­lyst Alan McQuaid.

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