The first quarter price index from the PCBS shows a 3.7 per cent rise since the end of 2008, and a 8.5 per cent increase compared to the first quarter of 2007.

The PCBS found that wholesale costs in manufacturing rose 3.8 per cent during the quarter, agricultural goods increased 3.8 per cent, mining and quarrying increased 2.7 per cent, and fishing 0.8 per cent.

The overall price index reached 163.6 by the end of the first quarter. The index takes 1996 as its base year, with a value of 100.