March 16, 2021
Consumer Price Index – February 2021
According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) the consumer price index for February 2021 was 107.1 resulting in deflation rate of 0.1%, when compared to the previous month’s deflation rate of 1.6%. STATIN noted that, “This movement was mainly as a result of the 1.3% decrease in the index for the heavily weighted ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division.” The overall movement was however tempered by a 1.4% increase in the index for the ‘Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division and a 0.5% increase in the index for the ‘Transport’ division.
The only divisional decline for the month was the index for ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ which fell by 1.3% for February 2021. The group ‘Food’ fell by 7.5% whilst ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ increased by 0.2%. The decline in the ‘Food’ group was attributable to a decrease in the index for the class ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ and a 0.5% decline in the index for the class ‘Fruits and nuts’. Lower prices for agricultural produces such as tomato, cabbage, yam, potato and oranges, contributed to this decline. There was an increase of 0.4% in the index for the classes ‘Cereal and cereal products’ and ‘Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals’ which moderated the decline in the index for the group. For the group ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’, the index for all three classes rose: ‘Fruit and vegetable juices’ by 0.1%, ‘Coffee, Tea, Cocoa’ by 0.3% and ‘Water, Soft drinks and Other non-alcoholic beverages’ by 0.2%.
The ‘Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics’ division grew by 0.1% for February 2021, resulting from increased prices within the ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ group which moved upwards by 0.1%. While the division for ‘Clothing and Footwear’ observed an increase of 0.2% in its index for February 2021. In the index, the groups ‘Clothing’ and ‘Footwear’ climbed by 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division advanced by 1.4% influenced by increased rates for electricity, water and sewage. This resulted in the index for the two groups ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Relating to the Dwelling’ increasing by 3.6% and 1.4%, respectively. According to STATIN, “the increase in electricity was as a result of the new tarrif rate changes for JPS approved by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR).”
Inflation of 0.5% was recorded for the division ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’. All groups within this division rose, namely ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ which increased by 0.4% and ‘Furniture, Furnishing and Loose Carpets’ which rose by 1.8%.
The division for ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.4% in its index for February 2021. The main contributing factor to this upward movement were increases in the groups ‘Medicines and Health Products’ and ‘Outpatient Care Services’ which increased by 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively. Whereas the group ‘Other Health Services’ reported a negligible movement.
The index ‘Transport’ rose by 0.5%. According to STATIN this was largely due to higher petrol prices. The ‘Information and Communication’ group rose by 0.1% for February 2021 because of higher prices for some information and communication services.
The ‘Recreation, Sport and Culture’ division registered a 0.3% rise for February 2021. Resulting from higher prices for items within the groups ‘Garden Products and Pets’ and ‘Newspapers, Books and Stationery’. STATIN reported a 0.1% increase in the ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ for February 2021 due to an upward movement in the index for accommodation services.
Lastly, the index for the ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Good and Services’ division rose by 0.4% for the period under review. This was due to an increase in the cost of some personal care good and services, as well as other personal effects.
The movement in the index for fiscal year-to-date was 3.3% and the point- to-point was 3.8% as at February 2021. The Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres all reported deflation of 0.1%.
Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (-1.3%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.2%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: (1.4%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.5%)
- Health: (0.4%)
- Transport: (0.5%)
- Information and Communication: (0.1%)
- Recreation, Sport and Culture: (0.3%)
- Education: (0.0%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.1%)
- Insurance and Financial Services (0.0%)
- Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (0.4%)
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