Consumer Price Index – May 2019

Date: June 18, 2019

Consumer Price Index – May 2019

The consumer price index for the month of May 2019 recorded an inflation rate of 0.8%, following a 0.1% increase in its index for April 2019, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month of May rose to 258.8, relative to the 256.8 reported for April 2019. This movement was largely attributed to the upward movements in the divisions, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.5% and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ by 3.7%. The ‘Transport’ division also contributed to the upward movement as their indexed also advanced 0.5% for the month of May. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 0.6%, 0.9% and 0.8% respectively.

The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 0.5% increase in its index for May 2019, following a 0.5% increase for April 2019. This resulted from the upward movements within the groups ‘Food’ and ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.5% and 0.2% respectively. Within the ‘Food’ group, the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’ increased 1.1% as a result of “higher prices for agricultural items such as cabbage, onion, lettuce and yam”. In addition, the class ‘Bread and Cereals’, ‘Meat’ and ‘Fish and Seafood’ also each increased by 0.2%. The ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group registered a 0.2% growth in its index, as the groups ‘Coffee, Tea and Cocoa’ and ‘Mineral Water, Soft drinks, Fruits and Vegetable Juices’ both recorded increases of 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 3.7% increase in its index for May, following a 1.5% downward movement for April 2019. This was a result of the two groups ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ registering increases of 6.6% and 0.6% in its index respectively due to “higher electricity rates” and “a rise in paint prices”. There was a 0.2% increase in the index for the ‘Rentals for Housing’ group.

The index for the division ‘Transport’ recorded an increase of 0.5% in its index for the month of May 2019. According to STATIN, “this increase was mainly attributed to higher petrol prices.” While the index for the division ‘Alcholic Beverages’ recorded an increase of 0.3% in its index for the month of May 2019 due to “increased prices for ‘Spirits’.

The index for the divisions ‘Clothing and Footwear’ and ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ each recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for the month of May 2019. The former was as a result of the groups ‘Clothing’ and ‘Footwear’ increasing 0.2% and 0.3% respectively while the movement in the index ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ resulted from upward movements in the groups ‘Household Appliances’ (0.9%), ‘Furniture and Furnishings’ (0.3%) and ‘Household Textiles’ (0.2%).

The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’, ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ and ‘Recreation and Culture’ all recorded increases of 0.1% their respective index for May 2019. The increase within the division ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ was attributable to “an upward movement in the prices for personal care items and visa fees” while the increase in the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ was as a result of “increased prices for meals consumed away from home”.

Notably, the other divisions ‘Health’, ‘Communication’ and ‘Education’ had no effect on the index for May 2019.

The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 0.9% and the point-to-point movement was 4.8%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:

  1. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (0.5%)
  2. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.3%)
  3. Clothing and Footwear: (0.2%)
  4. Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (3.7%)
  5. Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.2%)
  6. Health: (0.0%)
  7. Transport: (0.5%)
  8. Communication: (0.0%)
  9. Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
  10. Education: (0.0%)
  11. Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.1%)
  12. Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.1%)

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