Rents and insurance costs stand out again in inflation report

Soaring private rents and car insurance costs were again the stand-out features of the latest monthly inflation report, even as many other prices of goods and services fell or rose at a modest rate across the economy.

The CSO figures showed the overall consumer price index of goods and services rose a meagre 0.2% in April from March, and was down 0.1% from a year earlier.

The fall in fuel prices amid the global crash in crude oil prices showed through in an annual plunge of almost 5% in the costs of transport and in lower prices in some food products, while the costs of hotel accommodation climbed by the comparatively high rate of 2% in the year.

But the stand-out price increases in April included car insurance premiums, which soared 3.4% alone in the month, and are now 34.5% higher than in the same month in 2015.

That means that the cost of insuring a car is now 56% more expensive than December 2011, according to CSO figures.

The diverging costs between paying a mortgage and paying rent for a home were also highlighted by the April report.

The CSO figures showed private rents rose by a significant 1% last month and were 9.7% more expensive than in April 2015.

In contrast, mortgage interest costs fell 0.8% last month, and are 7.8% lower than a year earlier.

High rents and cuts in mortgage rents have featured high in the agenda on the agreements the new Fine Gael minority administration has struck with Fianna Fáil and with the Independent Alliance.


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