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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Consumer Price Index

August 2019

CPI and HICP
 CPI HICP
 % monthly change % annual change % monthly change % annual change
Apr 20190.4 1.7 0.4 1.7
May 2019-0.1 1.0 -0.1 1.0
Jun 20190.2 1.1 0.2 1.1
Jul 2019-0.2 0.5 -0.2 0.5
Aug 20190.5 0.7 0.4 0.6

Prices rise by 0.7% in the year to August 2019

Figure 1: CPI/HICP - ALL ITEMS Annual Percentage Change
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Prices on average, as measured by the CPI, were 0.7% higher in August compared with August 2018.

The most notable changes in the year were increases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+3.1%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+2.9%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.0%) and Education (+1.7%).  There were decreases in Communications (-6.3%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-4.0%), Clothing & Footwear (-1.6%) and Transport (-0.3%).

Consumer Prices in August, as measured by the CPI, increased by 0.5% in the month.  During August of last year, prices rose by 0.3% in the month.  The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Clothing & Footwear (+5.4%), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+0.9%), Restaurants & Hotels (+0.4%) and Health (+0.4%).  There were decreases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (-0.2%) and Transport (-0.1%). 

Contributions to the overall CPI – annual change

Table 17 shows the contribution of each 2-digit COICOP1 division to the overall change in the CPI.  A detailed breakdown of the individual components of each of the 12 COICOP divisions is presented in Tables 4 to 15.

The divisions which caused the largest upward contribution to the CPI in the year were Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+0.41%), Restaurants & Hotels (+0.36%), Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.18%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+0.13%).

The divisions which caused the largest downward contribution to the CPI in the year were Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-0.19%), Communications (-0.19%), Clothing & Footwear (-0.08%) and Transport (-0.04%).

The main factors contributing to the annual change were as follows:

  • Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels rose mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of gas. This increase was partially offset by a reduction in the price of home heating oil.
  • Restaurants & Hotels increased primarily due to higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. This increase was partially offset by lower prices for hotel accommodation.
  • Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco rose mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products.
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services increased primarily due to higher health insurance premiums and higher prices for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments.  This increase was partially offset by lower prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care and lower motor insurance premiums. 
  • Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance decreased mainly due to the reduced cost of furniture & furnishings, non-durable household goods and household textiles.
  • Communications fell due to a reduction in the cost of telephone & telefax equipment and telephone & telefax services.
  • Clothing & Footwear decreased due to sales.
  • Transport fell primarily due to a reduction in airfares and lower prices for petrol and diesel.  This decrease was partially offset by an increase in the cost of other services in respect of personal transport equipment and higher prices for motor cars.

Contributions to the overall CPI – monthly change

The divisions which caused the largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were Clothing & Footwear (+0.23%), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+0.10%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+0.07%).  The division which caused the largest downward contribution in the month was Transport (-0.01%). 

The main factors contributing to the monthly change were as follows:

  • Clothing & Footwear increased due to a recovery from sales.
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services rose primarily due to higher health insurance premiums. 
  • Restaurants & Hotels increased due to higher prices for hotel accommodation and an increase in the cost of alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc.
  • Transport fell mainly due to a decrease in air fares which was partially offset by higher prices for other services in respect of personal transport equipment and an increase in bus and rail fares.

CPI sub-indices

The sub index for Services rose by 2.3% in the year to August, while Goods decreased by 1.3%.  Services, excluding mortgage interest repayments, increased by 2.3% in the year since August 2018.

The CPI excluding tobacco increased by 0.5% in the month of August and rose by 0.6% in the year.  The CPI excluding mortgage interest increased by 0.5% in the month and rose by 0.7% in the year.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

Prices on average, as measured by the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), increased by 0.6% compared with August 2018.

The most notable changes in the year were increases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+3.1%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+2.8%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.0%) and Education (+1.7%).  There were decreases in Communications (-6.4%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-3.9%) and Clothing & Footwear (-1.6%).

The HICP increased by 0.4% in the month.  This compares to an increase of 0.3% recorded in August of last year.

The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Clothing & Footwear (+5.4%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+0.4%).  There were decreases in Transport (-0.3%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (-0.2%).  

1 Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose Adapted to the Needs of Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (2000).