February 16, 2018
The inflation for the month of January 2018 recorded a negligible movement following an upward movement of 0.6% in December 2017, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month remained flat at 248.6 relative to the 248.7 reported for December 2017. This was as a result of fluctuations recorded in the index for the heaviest weighted divisions: ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’, Transport’ and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area and Other Urban Centres also remained stagnant while Rural Areas decreased by 0.1%.
The index for the heaviest weighted division the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic’ division recorded a 0.2 % decline in its index for January 2018. While the ‘Food’ group recorded a 0.3 % fall, the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group showed an increase of 0.2 %. The movement in the former was inclined by a 1.4% fall in the class ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’. According to STATIN, “This was as a result of lower prices for items such as carrot, cabbage, lettuce and yam due to increased supplies on the market. However, all other classes within the group recorded increases which tempered the downward movement of the group. Notably among these were: ‘Fruit’ 0.7%, ‘Sugar, Jam, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery’ and ‘Food Products n.e.c’ 0.3 % each, with ‘Meat’, ‘Bread and Cereals’, and ‘Fish and Seafood’ each recording a 0.2% increase. For the ‘Non Alcoholic Beverages’ both classes within the group rose by 0.2%.”
Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ advanced 0.3% as the group ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ was the main contributor to this increase, recording a 1.0 % rise in its index. According to STATIN, “This was due to increased water and sewage rates.” The index for the other groups ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’, ‘Rentals for Housing’, and ‘Maintenance and Repair of Dwellings’ all recorded increases of 0.2%, 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The index for ‘Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco’ and ‘Clothing and Footwear’ also increased 0.3% for January 2018. This increase in ‘Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco’ mainly due to higher wines prices, while the increase in ‘Clothing and Footwear ‘was as a result of the ‘Clothing’ group increasing 0.5%.
‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’, ‘Health’ , ‘Recreation and Culture’ and ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ indexes all grew by 0.1% for January 2018. The increase in ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’ was as a result of the class ‘Tool and Equipment for House and Garden’ which recorded a 0.3% increase whilst the increase in ‘Health’ division rose as a result of an increase in the group ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ by 0.1%.
The index for ‘Education’ increased 0.5 % for the month January 2018. According to STATIN, “This increase was as a result of increased tuition fees for the Easter term.” The index for ‘Transport’ however declined 0.1% fell as a result of increased costs for petrol and its related products which were offset by the decline in expense for air travel.
The point-to-point Inflation rate (January 2017 – January 2018) and fiscal year 2018/ 2019 was 4.8% and 4.2% respectively. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (-0.2%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.3%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.3%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (0.3%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.1%)
- Health: (0.1%)
- Transport: (-0.1%)
- Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
- Education: (0.5%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
- Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.1%)
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