Date: September 17, 2019
Consumer Price Index – August 2019
The consumer price index for the month of August 2019 increased by 0.8%, following a 1.1% increase in its index for July 2019, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month of August rose to 263.1 relative to the 261.2 reported for August 2019. This movement was largely attributed to the upward movements in the divisions, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.9% and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ by 1.7%. The ‘Transport’ division also contributed to August’s inflation rate with a 0.3% increase in its index for the month of August. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 1.1%, 0.5% and 0.7% respectively.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 0.9% increase in its index for August 2019, following a 2.4% increase for July 2019. This resulted from the upward movements within the groups ‘Food’ and ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.3% each. Within the ‘Food’ group, the upward movement was mainly attributable to the 2.5% increase in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’ due to “higher prices for agricultural produce especially vegetables, due to drought conditions affecting the island”. Other increases were recorded in the classes ‘Sugar, Jam, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery’ by 0.9% while the class ‘Food Products n.e.c.’ advanced 1.3% and was due “to higher prices for ginger and pepper”. The ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group registered a 0.3% growth in its index, as the classes ‘Coffee, Tea and Cocoa’ and ‘Mineral Water, Soft drinks, Fruits and Vegetable Juices’ both recorded increases of 0.3% each.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 1.7% increase in its index for August 2019, following a 1.4% decline for July 2019. This was as a result of the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a 3.6% rise in its index due to “higher electricity rates”. This upward movement was however tempered by the downward movements in the divisions ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ registering a decline of 1.9% in its index respectively, “due to a reduction in water and sewage rates”.
The index for the division ‘Transport’ recorded an increase of 0.3% in its index for the month of August 2019 following a decline of 0.7% for July. According to STATIN, “Increased prices for some petrol and petrol related products were the main factors that contributed to the upward movement in this division”.
The divisions ‘Clothing and Footwear’ and ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ also recorded increases of 0.3% in their respective index for August 2019. The former was as a result of the groups ‘Clothing’ and ‘Footwear’ increasing by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively while the division ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ recorded a similar increase due to “increased prices for ‘Spirits’.
The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ and ‘Health’ recorded increases of 0.2% and 0.8% respectively in its index for the month of August 2019. The movement in the index ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ resulted from upward movements in the groups ‘Household Textiles’ and ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’, each recording increases of 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.8% in its index for August 2019. This resulted from the classes ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ and ‘Health Services’ each recording increases of 0.5% and 1.0% respectively.
The divisions ‘Restaurant and Accommodation Services’, ‘Recreation and Culture’, and ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ all recorded increases of 0.1%, 0.1% and 0.5% in their respective index for August 2019. The former was as a result of increases for “meals consumed away from home” while the upward movement in the index ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ was mainly influenced by “higher costs for some personal care products” .
Notably, the other divisions ‘Communication’ and ‘Education’ had no effect on the index for August 2019.
The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 2.6% and the point-to-point movement was 4.1%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (0.9%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.3%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.3%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (1.7%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.2%)
- Health: (0.8%)
- Transport: (0.3%)
- Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
- Education: (0.0%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.1%)
- Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.5%)
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