The annual inflation rate hits 5.5% in December

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The annual inflation rate increased by 5.5% in December, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

That’s up from 5.3% in November, and it’s the highest annual rate since April 2001.

On a yearly basis, today’s figures show diesel prices are up 36%, while petrol prices are up 32% and air fares are up 66%.

Electricity prices increased by 22.4%, while gas prices increased by 28%. The cost of heating oil has increased by 53%.

Private sector rents rose 8.4%, according to today’s figures.

The CSO said food prices have also started to rise with price increases recorded across a range of products including bread up 5.3% while crisps rose 7%. Overall, food and non-alcoholic beverages are up 1.6% on an annual basis.

Inflation really started to take off in the second half of last year, as energy prices rose.

Prices were still falling on a yearly basis until February. This contributed to the fact that, overall, the average annual inflation for 2021 was 2.4%.

This compares to a decline of 0.3% in 2020 and an increase of 0.9% in 2019.

Energy products increased by an average of 12.3% last year against a fall of 5% in 2020. The price of goods rose by an average of 1.5% in 2021 against a fall of 2.2% in 2020 .

The CSO also calculated inflation for the years between 2017 and 2021 with an overall increase over this period of 3.5%.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels recorded the largest increase during this period, up 14%. But there was a 12.4% drop in the price of communications and a 4.2% drop in food and non-alcoholic beverages.


The latest CSO inflation figures

Eurozone inflation also rose last month, rising to 5% from 4.9% in November, a record for the currency bloc and well above analysts’ expectations of 4.7%.

Meanwhile, UK inflation rose faster than expected to hit a nearly 30-year high in December, intensifying pressure on living standards and putting pressure on the Bank of England to raises interest rates again.

UK consumer price inflation rose to 5.4% from 5.1% in November, the highest since March 1992, the Office for National Statistics said.

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