The largest upward contribution to the CPI came from: housing and utilities (4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in December), mainly due to higher rents and mortgage interest repayments in addition to an increase in the price of electricity and gas; restaurants and hotels (3.7 percent from 2.1 percent), on the back of higher prices for alcoholic drinks and food consumed in licensed premises, restaurants, cafes etc. and an increase in the cost of hotel accommodation; alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.7 percent from 2.8 percent) and education (1.7 percent, the same as in December).
On the other hand, prices fell for: furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-3.3 percent from -3.5 percent), primarily due to the reduced cost of non-durable household goods, furniture & furnishings, household textiles and glassware, tableware & household utensils; miscellaneous goods and services (-1.8 percent from -2.4 percent), as lower health and motor insurance premiums and a reduction in prices for appliances, articles and products for personal care were partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments and house insurance premiums; food and non-alcoholic beverages (-1.5 percent from -1.4 percent), due to lower prices across a range of products such as meat, bread & cereals, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionery and fruit; and clothing and footwear (-1.5 percent from -0.4 percent).
Annual core inflation, which excludes energy and unprocessed food, picked up to 0.8 percent in January from 0.3 percent in December.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.7 percent, after showing no growth in December. The most significant monthly price changes were decreases in clothing & footwear (-9.2 percent), transport (-3.1 percent) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (-2.0 percent). Increases were seen in alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+3.2 percent) and communications (+1.5 percent).
The harmonised index of consumer prices rose by 0.8 percent from the previous year; and fell by 0.7 percent from the previous month.