Date: August 16, 2019
Consumer Price Index – July 2019
The consumer price index for the month of June 2019 increased by 1.1%, following a 0.1% decline in its index for June 2019, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month of July rose to 261.2, relative to the 258.4 reported for June 2019. This movement was largely attributed to the upward movements in the divisions, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 2.4% and ‘Transport’ by 0.7%. The ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division however tempered this downward movement as their indexed declined 1.4% for the month of July. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 1.6%, 1.0% and 0.7% respectively.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 2.4% increase in its index for July 2019, following a 0.2% increase for June 2019. This resulted from the upward movements within the groups ‘Food’ and ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 2.5% and 0.2% respectively. Within the ‘Food’ group, the upward movement was mainly attributable to the 7.9% increase in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’ “due to higher prices for agriculture produce such as cabbage, lettuce, carrot, yam and potato”. Other increases were recorded in the classes ‘Sugar, Jam, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery’ 1.2% while the class ‘Food Products n.e.c.’ advanced 0.8%. The ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group registered a 0.2% growth in its index, as the classes ‘Coffee, Tea and Cocoa’ and ‘Mineral Water, Soft drinks, Fruits and Vegetable Juices’ both recorded increases of 0.2% each.
The index for the division ‘Transport’ recorded a decrease of 0.7% in its index for the month of July 2019. According to STATIN, “This movement was influenced by higher prices for petrol and airfares.”
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 1.4% decline in its index for June 2019, following a 1.2% decline for June 2019. This was as a result of the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a 3.5% decline in its index due to “lower electricity rates”. This downward movement was however tempered by the upward movements in the divisions ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ registering an increase of 4.1% in its index respectively, “due to higher water and sewage rates”.
The divisions ‘Clothing and Footwear’, ‘Restaurant and Accommodation Services’ and ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ all recorded increases of 0.1% in their respective index for July 2019. The former was as a result of the group ‘Clothing’ increasing 0.2% while the division ‘Restaurant and Accommodation Services’ recorded a similar increase “as a result of higher prices for pet food.”
The divisions ‘Recreation and Culture’, ‘Restaurant and Accommodation Services’ and ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ also all recorded increases of 0.1% in their respective index for July 2019. The former was as a result “of higher prices for pet food” while the upward movement in the index ‘Restaurant and Accommodation Services’ resulted from “increases for meals consumed away from home.” The movement in the division ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ was “due mostly to higher prices for some personal care products”.
The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ and ‘Health’ each recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for the month of July 2019. The movement in the index ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ resulted from upward movements in the groups ‘Furniture and Furnishings (including Floor Coverings)’, ‘Tools and Equipment for House and Garden’, ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’, each recording increases of 0.2% and ‘Household Textiles’, ‘Household Appliances’ and ‘Glassware, Tableware and Household Utensils’, each recording increases of 0.1%. The increase within the division ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ was attributable to “the increase in the prices of personal care and personal effect products”. The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for July 2019. This resulted from the classes ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ and ‘Health Services’ each recording increases of 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.
Notably, the other divisions ‘Communication’ and ‘Education’ had no effect on the index for July 2019.
The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 1.8% and the point-to-point movement was 4.3%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (2.4%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.1%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (-1.4%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.2%)
- Health: (0.2%)
- Transport: (0.7%)
- Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
- Education: (0.0%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.1%)
- Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.1%)
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