Last month’s introduction of minimum unit pricing has seen the price of alcohol rise considerably, 17% higher than last year’s comparison. The scales set out by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have been described as the largest monthly increase in prices among categories.
The cost of a slab of beer, cider, and stout almost doubled due to the new minimum pricing unit regulations. However, the price of a pint of stout in a pub has risen 6c, separately to the minimum pricing rules.
Although the latest CSO inflation figures show a fall in the overall rise, it is of no help to households struggling with multiple price hikes. According to data gathered from the Central Statistics Office, the inflation rate for the last month stands at 5%, lowering from December’s rate of 5.5%. Statisticians conclude that January’s national average price of a pint of stout stood at €4.94 – up 6.1c from December 2020 – with lager up 4.9c to €5.31.
Heineken has become the latest producer to signal the rising prices, as it fears customers will cut back on spending. Reports suggest surges in the cost of domestic energy and petrol and diesel could add around €1,400 to average household bills in 2022, adding to the many other living costs.
The latest figures show a rise in diesel and petrol costs for the past year, up 42.3c/litre, and 40.7c/litre, respectively. CSO statistician, Colin Cotter further reveals a national average price of an 800g white sliced pan has risen 10c in the year, and 13.2c for brown. Higher costs for grain, along with the continuing impact of Brexit, have proven costly to the production of bread, which has been transferred to the customer. Further figures show the price of 80 tea bags has increased by 5.2c, while butter increased 12c per pound.
Mr Cotter said: “The latest publication for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows that prices for consumer goods and services in January 2022 increased by 5.0% on average compared to January 2021. Prices have been rising on an annual basis since April 2021, with annual inflation of 5% or more each month since October.”
Electricity costs – up 22.4%, gas – up 27.7%, and home-heating oil – up 50.1%, are just some of the other costs hitting the public, although consumer prices decreased by 0.4% in January. Last month’s decrease is the first of its kind following 14 continuous months of rising prices. Reports suggest this drought of lowering rates recorded the longest consecutive sequence of month-on-month inflation since the CPI series began in 1997.
According to the European Commission and the Central Bank of Ireland, price increases are expected to remain around 5% throughout the year. However, the European Commission more recently predicted Irish prices to rise by almost 5% this year, above EU average. The EU executive said Irish price rises will average 4.6% in 2022 before falling back to 2.5% next year.