Alcohol prices

Cost of living: Alcohol prices rise by almost 20%

The average price of alcohol in Ireland rose by 17.4% in the year to January 2022, new figures have revealed.

Much of the increase is due to the introduction of a minimum unit price at the start of the month, which set a floor price for alcoholic beverages. In January alone, the cost of a drink increased by 10%, the largest monthly increase of any category included in the CSO figures.

“The national average price of a pint of stout at €4.94 increased by 6.1 cents on average compared to December 2020, while a pint of lager at €5.31 increased by 4.9 cents,” said statistician Colin Cotter.

It follows a warning from Heineken’s CEO who said inflation was “out of the ordinary” and driving up the prices of his company’s beers.

Wider picture

Headline inflation has slowed slightly from a peak of 5.5% in December and is now at 5%. This is the first monthly drop in the Consumer Price Index in over a year.

Transportation was the category that changed the most year over year, with prices up 14% overall, followed closely by utilities at 12%. Diesel has increased by 32% and petrol by 29.5%, while air fares will now cost you an additional 26.7% on average.

Basic items continue to get more expensive. The CSO pointed to jumps in the cost of a loaf of white bread, up 10c, and a pound of butter, now 12c more expensive.

Only two categories of goods are cheaper today than in January 2021. Clothing and footwear fell 3.7% while “miscellaneous goods and services” (which includes car insurance, jewelry, clocks and personal care) decreased by 0.8%.

Several factors could play a role in the pause in the upward trend in inflation. The CSO said Covid-19 meant households could not spend on package holidays, nightclubs, train catering and canteens. Meanwhile, the decline in clothing prices could be due to January sales.