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Inflation stays at 1.9%

Increase: the cost of new cars rose by 0.5 per cent in February

The annual rate of inflation was 1.9 per cent in February — unchanged from January.

The education, recreation, entertainment and reading sector was the largest contributor to the year-over-year increase for the second consecutive month. This sector was up 4.2 per cent year-over-year in February, following a 4 per cent increase in January.

The health and personal care sector rose 3.2 per cent, while the transport and foreign travel sector climbed 1.4 per cent.

Food prices were unchanged overall from January to February, although there were increases in the prices of frozen pork ribs (up 5.8 per cent) and fresh and frozen stewing beef (up 3.1 per cent), offset by falls in the prices of lamb leg (down 4.4 per cent) and roasting chicken (down 2.1 per cent).

The fuel and power sector was unchanged from January after four consecutive months of decline. The fuel adjustment rate remained the same.

The transport and foreign travel sector rose 0.8 per cent in February, following a 1.2 per cent decrease in January.

The average cost of overseas accommodation increased by 4.1 per cent, while the cost of a new car rose 0.5 per cent on average.