Multiples in the Irish Republic have been accused of misleading consumers by reducing prices on some items while raising them on others.

A survey by the Central Statistics Office found that while the prices of goods previously covered by the Groceries Order had fallen 0.3% since its abolition seven months ago, items excluded from the order such as meat, fish, fruit and veg were now 2% dearer.

Consumers' Association of Ireland chairman Michael Kilcoyne said this showed that recent announcements about price cuts by Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu were a case of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".

But Retail Ireland blamed increased prices on "market supply factors at EU level".