Headline inflation for the Irish economy was close to a 40-year high last month, according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

Consumer prices in the Republic increased by an average of 8.7% in the 12 months to August, down slightly from July’s 9.1% increase.

This was the first drop in headline price growth seen in the economy in 16 months.

Housing, energy, fuel and transportation were the main drivers of the rising cost of living.

Electricity, gas and other fuels increased by 20.3% year-on-year. Within this category, electricity prices rose by 38.1% and gas prices by 56.1%.

The cost of home heating oil has surged about 73% since this time last year, according to CSO statistics.

Since April 2021, prices have been increasing year by year, with annual inflation rates of over 5% recorded every month since October last year.

The central bank warned in July that headline inflation was likely to rise above 10% in the third quarter and then ease in the second half of 2022.

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