Tuesday, November 13, 2012

13/11/2012: Consumer Prices in Ireland: October 2012

Consumer price index for October 2012, Ireland released last week chows broad continuation of the previously established trends, namely above-average inflation in state-controlled sectors, albeit the overall rate of the state-sanctioned rip-off of consumers is now moderating relative to previous months.

Overall CPI index dipped to 101.5 (2011 base year) in October compared to 101.6 in September, representing a mom change of -0.1% and y/y rise of 1.20%. 3mo average through October is at +0.36% rise on previous 3mo period and is up 1.60% y/y.

Charts below illustrate:

One thing is clear from the charts above: despite the economy still in trouble, cost of living in Ireland is now at the levels comparable with those attained in early 2008.

Looking at decomposition by broad category:

  • Price index in Food & non-alcoholic beverages category rose from 100.6 in September to 101.0 in October. The index is now up 1% y/y and 3mo average through October 2012 is 0.7% above the same period average a year ago.
  • Alcoholic beverages & tobacco prices index is slightly down from 103.7 in September 2012 to 103.5 in October 2012, but the index is still up 3.5% y/y and index 3mo average through October 2012 is up 3.57% on the same period a year ago. The index annual inflation was driven primarily by rises in price sof cigarettes (+6.9 y/y) and Other tobacco (+7.9% y/y)
  • Clothing and footware sub-category index is up from 99.5 in September to 100.5 in October. The sub-index is now up 1.01% y/y and its 3mo average through October 2012 is 0.64% ahead of the 3mo average for the same period in 2011. Garments were the only sub-category of goods in this category that showed y/y inflation (+2%), with other sub-categories posting deflation.
  • In Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels category, prices index rose from 96.8 in September to 98 in October, the index is up 1.24% m/m and is down 3.26% y/y. 3mo average through October is down 2.41% on a year ago. Mortgage interest posted a robust 18.1% decline y/y, but this decline is distributed unevenly with adjustable rate mortgages rising in cost, whiel tracker mortgages benefiting from ECB easy monetary policies. Meanwhile, largest y/y increases were recorded in Electricity (+8.7%), Gas (+9.3%) and Liquid fuels (+13.4%).
  • Furnishings, Household equipment and routine maintenance sub-index is down marginally from 97.4 in September to 97.2 in October. The sub-index is down 2.70% y/y and its 3mo average through October is down 2.53% y/y. Nine out of eleven sub-categories of goods and services posted deflation y/y in October.
  • Health prices index moderated from 100.4 to 100.2 m/m in October and is up only 0.3% y/y with 3mo average through October up 0.47% y/y. In Health, largest price increases in October in annual terms were in Other Medical Products (+2.9%) and Other medical and Paramedical Services (other than Doctors' fees) (+3.2%).
  • Transport sub-index fell significantly from 109.3 in September to 106.3 in October (down 2.74% m/m). However, the sub-index is still up 5.77% y/y and 3mo average through October 2012 is now up 7.34% on the same period of 2011. In Transport, largest increases in prices, annually, were in Petrol (+12.4%), Diesel (+11.1%), Motor Tax (+10.8%), Bus Fares (+9.2%), passenger Transport by Sea and Inland Waterway (+5.4%) and Combined Passenger Transport (+6.2%).
  • Communications prices sub-index moderated from 97.4 in September to 96.6 in October, down 3.40% y/y and down 2.67% y/y in terms of 3mo average through October. here, Postal services went up in price 1.5% y/y, while Telephone & telefax equipment and services were down in prices 3.6% y/y.
  • Recreation and culture prices sub-index rose from 98.7 in September to 99.2 in October, with an annual inflation registering at 6.73%. 3mo average through October was up 8.63% y/y.
  • Education costs rose at a monthly inflation of 4.6%, up 6.73 y/y in October to 104.6, while 3mo average through October 2012 was up 8.63% y/y. In education inflation was primarily diven by Secondary education (+2.5% y/y), Tertiary Education (+6.5%) and Education not definable by level (+6.6%).
  • Restaurants and hotels price index  was at 01.6 in October, down from 10.2 in September but still up 0.99% y/y, same rate of inflation as 3mo average through October 2012.
  • Miscellaneous goods and services sub-category price index rose from 104.2 in September to 105.2 in October and is up 5.62% y/y, with 3mo average through October 2012 up 5.40% on the same period a year ago. Here, health insurance costs were up 15.9% y/y and insurance connected with transport was up 4.7% y/y. Other services inflation run at 22.8% y/y in October.

 In terms of historical rates of inflation, charts below show current price indices for all main categories of goods and services relative to 1976 and 2007 readings.

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