Date: October 16, 2019
Consumer Price Index – September 2019
The consumer price index for the month of September 2019 increased by 0.4%, following a 0.8% increase in its index for August 2019, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month of September rose to 264.2 relative to the 263.1 reported for August 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 0.3%. The ‘Communication’ and ‘Education’ divisions also contributed to September’s inflation rate with a 6.9% and 4.7% increase respectively in its index for the month of September. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 0.5%, 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 0.5% increase in its index for September 2019, following a 0.9% increase for August 2019. This resulted from the upward movements within the groups ‘Food’ and ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. Within the ‘Food’ group, the upward movement was mainly attributable to the 1.3% increase in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’ due to higher prices for agricultural produce. Other increases were recorded in the classes ‘Sugar, Jam, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery’ by 0.4%. 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 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 0.3% increase in its index for September 2019, following a 1.7% increase for August 2019. This was as a result of the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a 0.4% rise in its index due to “higher rates for electricity”. This upward movement was also aided by the division ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ registering an increase of 0.2% in its index respectively, “due to increased water and sewage rates”.
The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’, ‘Health’ and ‘Clothing and Footwear’ all recorded increases of 0.2% in their index for the month of September 2019. The movement in the index ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ resulted from upward movements in the groups ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’, ‘Household Appliances’ and ‘Household Textiles’ each recording increases of 0.1%, 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for September 2019. This resulted from the class ‘Health Services’ recording an increase of 0.3% in its index. The division ‘Clothing and Footwear’ increased in its index due to a 0.3% increase registered for the group ‘Footwear’ due to “higher prices for women shoes” and a 0.1% increase for the class ‘Clothing’.
The divisions ‘Recreation and Culture’ and ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ recorded increases of 1.7% and 0.1% in their respective index for September 2019. The former was as a result of “an increase in the cost for textbooks” while the division ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ recorded an increase due to increased prices for ‘Spirits’ and ‘Wines’.
The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ and ‘Education’ recorded increases of 0.4% and 4.7% in their respective index for September 2019. The former was as a result of increases in “the cost of personal care products and services” while the upward movement in the index ‘Education’ was mainly influenced by “an increase in tuition fees at the beginning of the new school year”.
Lastly, the division ‘Communication’ recorded an increase of 6.9% in its index for the month of September 2019 mainly “as a result of higher cost for communicative services during the month under review”.
Notably, the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ had no effect on the index for September 2019.
The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 3.0% and the point-to-point movement was 3.4%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (0.5%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.2%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (0.3%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.2%)
- Health: (0.2%)
- Transport: (-1.0%)
- Communication: (6.9%)
- Recreation and Culture: (1.7%)
- Education: (4.7%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
- Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.4%)
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