Consumer prices rose in February on the back of higher rents, mortgages and heating and energy bills, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.

Average prices rose by 0.6% in February on an annual basis, the CSO said. 

Monthly consumer prices increased by 0.8% from January on the back of higher prices for clothing and footwear and transport.

The CSO said that the cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 4% in February compared to the same month last year. Prices in restaurants and hotels were up 3.6%, while tobacco prices rose by 2.7%.

But February saw lower health and motor insurance premiums, as well as a fall in prices of appliances and products for personal care. This reduction, however, was partially offset by higher prices for hairdressing.

Transport costs also fell on the back of lower air fares, which was partially offset by an increase in the cost of buying a new car.