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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Consumer Price Index

December 2020

CPI and HICP
 CPI HICP
 % monthly change % annual change % monthly change % annual change
Aug 2020-0.1 -1.0 -0.1 -1.1
Sep 2020-0.4 -1.2 -0.4 -1.2
Oct 2020-0.6 -1.5 -0.5 -1.5
Nov 20200.3 -1.1 0.3 -1.0
Dec 20200.3 -1.0 0.2 -1.0

Prices fall by 1.0% in the year to December 2020

Figure 1: CPI/HICP - ALL ITEMS Annual Percentage Change
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Prices on average, as measured by the CPI, were 1.0% lower in December compared with December 2019.

The most notable changes in the year were decreases in Clothing & Footwear (-7.8%), Transport (-4.1%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-3.9%) and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (-1.9%).  There were increases in Health (+3.4%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.5%), Recreation & Culture (+0.9%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.4%).

Consumer Prices in December, as measured by the CPI, increased by 0.3% in the month.  During December of last year, prices rose by 0.2% in the month.  The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Restaurants & Hotels (+1.5%) and Transport (+1.3%).  There were decreases in Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (-1.2%) and Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-1.1%).

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 downward contribution to the CPI in the year were Transport (-0.60%), Clothing & Footwear (-0.36%), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (-0.27%) and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-0.19%).

The divisions which caused the largest upward contribution to the CPI in the year were Restaurants & Hotels (+0.51%), Health (+0.11%), Recreation & Culture (+0.07%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.02%).

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

  • Transport decreased due to lower prices for diesel and petrol and a reduction in air fares.  This decrease was partially offset by higher prices for motor cars and an increase in the cost of services in respect of personal transport equipment.
  • Clothing & Footwear fell due to sales.
  • Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels decreased primarily due to a reduction in the price of home heating oil, lower rents and a fall in the cost of natural gas.  This reduction was partially offset by an increase in the cost of electricity and higher mortgage interest repayments.
  • Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance fell mainly due to the reduced cost of non-durable household goods, furniture & furnishings and household textiles.  This decrease was partially offset by an increase in the cost of domestic services and household services.
  • 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 a reduction in the cost of hotel accommodation.
  • Health rose mainly due to an increase in the cost of medical and dental services.
  • Recreation & Culture increased primarily due to higher prices for package holidays and an increase in the cost of recreational and sporting services.  This increase was partially offset by lower prices for gardens, plants & flowers and games, toys & hobbies.
  • Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco rose mainly due to higher prices for tobacco products.  This increase was partially offset by a fall in the price of alcoholic beverages sold in supermarkets and off licences.

Contributions to the overall CPI – monthly change

The divisions which caused the largest upward contribution to the CPI in the month were Restaurants & Hotels (+0.31%) and Transport (+0.19%).  The divisions which caused the largest downward contribution in the month were Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-0.14%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (-0.06%).

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

  • Restaurants & Hotels rose primarily due to an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation and higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc.
  • Transport increased mainly due to higher prices for air fares and an increase in the cost of services in respect of personal transport equipment.
  • Miscellaneous Goods & Services fell primarily due to lower prices for appliances, articles & products for personal care.
  • Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco decreased due to a fall in the price of alcoholic beverages sold in supermarkets and off licences.

CPI sub-indices

The sub index for Services rose by 1.0% in the year to December, while Goods decreased by 3.9%.  Services, excluding mortgage interest repayments, increased by 0.9% in the year since December 2019.

The CPI excluding tobacco increased by 0.2% in the month of December and decreased by 1.1% in the year.  The CPI excluding mortgage interest increased by 0.3% in the month and fell by 1.1% in the year.

Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

Prices on average, as measured by the EU Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), decreased by 1.0% compared with December 2019.

The most notable changes in the year were decreases in Clothing & Footwear (-7.9%), Transport (-4.5%), Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-3.9%) and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (-3.2%).  There were increases in Health (+4.9%), Restaurants & Hotels (+2.6%), Recreation & Culture (+0.8%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+0.3%).

The HICP increased by 0.2% in the month.  This compares to an increase of 0.2% recorded in December of last year.

The most significant monthly price changes were increases in Restaurants & Hotels (+1.5%) and Transport (+1.4%).  There were decreases in Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-1.9%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (-1.3%).

Consumer Price Index Annual Review – 2020

Annual average inflation for CPI in 2020 was -0.3%

The annual average rate of inflation in 2020 was -0.3%.  This compares to a rise of 0.9% for 2019 and an increase of 0.5% for 2018. 

The largest year-on-year price decrease was recorded in October 2020 when prices fell by 1.5% compared to the previous October.

Largest decreases recorded in Communications and Clothing & Footwear

The largest price decreases were recorded for Communications (-7.0%), Clothing & Footwear (-3.7%) and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-3.1%).  The largest increases were recorded for Education (+3.0%), Health (+2.8%) and Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+2.4%). 

During 2020, mortgage interest repayments rose on average by 2.6% compared to a rise of 2.8% in 2019.  The price of Goods decreased on average by 2.2% compared to a fall of 1.1% in 2019.  The price of Services (which includes mortgage interest) rose by 1.0% compared to a rise of 2.4% the previous year.

Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels shows the largest price increase since 2016

Over the period 2016 to 2020, the largest increases were recorded for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+10.2%), Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+8.9%), Education (+8.9%) and Restaurants & Hotels (+8.8%). The largest decreases were for Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (-13.6%), Communications (-12.9%), Clothing & Footwear (-10.5%) and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (-6.1%).  The overall increase in the Consumer Price Index over this period was 1.5%.

 

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