Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/2011: Ireland's Consumer Prices: October

Irish CPI and HICP figures for October show continued pattern of public sector-controlled costs inflation and continued pressures on prices in the domestic economy. Here are the details.

Per chart above, Irish CPI rose from 104.4 in September to 104.7 in October compared to December 2006 when it stood at 100. Re-based to December 2001, October CPI was at 123.6, up on 126.2 in September. Mom CPI rose 0.3% and 3mo change is 0.8%. Annualized rate of change is now 2.8% - the highest since April 2011. All items CPI rose from 2.6% in September to 2.8% in October. 3mo MA is now at 2.53% and 6mo MA is at 2.62%.

Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices also increased 0.3% mom to 107.1 in October from 106.8 in September. A year ago, index reading was 105.5, so controlling for rounding yoy HICP rose 1.5% in october, up on 1.3% in September and 1% increases in July and August.

 CPI by household budget components was also worrying:

  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages prices inflation remained at 1.4% for the third month in a row, with 6mo MA of 1.17% and 3mo MA of 1.4%. In 3mo through October, average price inflation rose 50% on 3mo period through July.
  • Alcoholic beverages & tobacco remained in deflation of -0.5% for the fourth month running. 3mo MA is -0.5% and 6mo MA is -0.3, which means we are witnessing slightly accelerating deflation.
  • Clothing & footwear posted -0.3% CPI in October, same as in September, down from -1.2% deflation in August. 3mo MA is -0.6% and 6mo MA is -1.2%, so we are seeing some slowdown in deflation.
  • Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels posted another double-digit price increase of 10.2% in October, up on CPI of 8.9% in September. 3mo MA CPI is now at 8.77% and 6mo MA CPI is at 9.07%. Largest yoy increases in this category were: 20.5% increase in natural gas prices, 20.3% hike in liquid fuels prices, 18.1% increase in mortgage interest costs, 11.5% rise in electricity prices, and 6.9% price increase for bottled gas.
  • Deflation continued to build up in Furnishings, household equipment and maintenance category with CPI of -2.2% in October against -2.3% in August and September. 3mo MA is now at -2.27% and 6mo MA is at -2.37%.
  • As far as state-controlled sectors go, Health had another bumper crop year with price increases of 2.3% in October, against CPI of 3.4% in June-September. 3mo MA is at 3.03% and 6mo MA is at 3.42%. Hospital services drove inflation here with annual rate of price change of 9.8%. In contrast, pharmaceutical products prices are down 3.3% yoy in October.
  • Transport - another heavily state-controlled or dominated sector also posted robust inflation of 3.6% in October against 4.2% in September. CPI for the sector is now at 3mo MA of 3.67% and 6mo MA of 3.52%. Costs of purchasing vehicles have fallen 4.3% yoy through October, but costs of fuels and lubricants rose 14.5%. Rail transport costs are up 1.8%, Bus fares are up 10.0%, Air transport costs up 5.6% and Sea transport costs up 6.4%.
  • Communications CPI in October stood at 1%, same as in previous 2 months. 6mo MA is now at 2.08%.
  • Recreation & culture CPI posted -0.8% growth in October, more deflationary that -0.5% in September. 3mo MA is at -0.7% and 6mo MA at -0.65%.
  • Education CPI showed the buoyancy of the Celtic Tiger era with 6.5% increase in October on the foot of 12 previous months posting deflation. 3mo MA is now at 1.1% and 6mo MA at -0.1%. THe swing in CPI was a massive 8.1 percentage points. Virtually all inflation in the sector was accounted for by the third level education costs - up 13.4% yoy in October (+13.5% mom). Education costs now run +21.9% ahead of December 2006 level for primary education, +22.7% for second level education, +50.1% for third level education and only +4.7% for Other education & training.
  • Restaurants and hotels CPI came in at -0.9% in October from -0.8% in September. 3mo MA is at -0.8% and 6mo MA is at -0.65%. Accommodation services posted the largest deflation of -3.8% mom and -3.0% yoy, with Restaurants, cafes & fast-food posting deflation of -0.2% mom and -1.9% yoy.
  • In Miscellaneous Goods and Services category, the only notable changes were: 12.7% yoy increase in insurance costs, broken down into a massive 23.8% yoy rise in Health insurance costs, and 4.2% rise in Transport Insurance costs. Overall, this category costs rose 6.4% yoy in October and 0.5% mom

State-controlled sectors and prices inflation is now running at 1.15% in October, up on 1.03% in September. 3mo MA and 6mo MA for the series are both at 1.0%. In contrast, private sectors prices are rising at 0.51% in October down from 0.55% in September. 3mo MA for these prices increases is 0.50% and 6mo MA is at 0.56%

Cumulative gap between state-controlled sectors prices and private sectors prices from December 2007 through today now stands at 140.51%, up from 139.62% in September.

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