May 19, 2021
Consumer Price Index – April 2021
According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) the consumer price index for April 2021 was 107.7 resulting in deflation rate of 0.5%, when compared to the previous month’s inflation rate of 1.1%. STATIN noted that, “This decline was as a result of the 4.0% fall in the index for the heavily weighted ‘Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division due to a decrease in electricity rates. In the reference period, electricity rates were impacted by lower fuel prices, as well as a fall in the billing exchange rate.” The overall movement was however tempered by the 0.5% increase in the index for ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’.
The classes with the strongest impact on the heaviest weighted division ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ were ‘Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals’ which went up by 0.8%, ‘Fruits and nuts’ up by 0.9%, ‘Cereals and cereal products’ and ‘Fish and Seafood’ each up by 0.6% each. The class ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ which is the heaviest weighted class, recorded a 0.1% increase in its index. Although there were higher prices for tubers such as yam and sweet potato, lower prices for vegetables such as cabbage, carrot and sweet pepper moderated the overall movement of this class.
The ‘Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics’ division grew by 0.4% for April 2021, resulting from the 0.5% increase in the index for the group ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ due mainly to higher prices for ‘Spirits and liquors”. While the division for ‘Clothing and Footwear’ observed an increase of 0.1% in its index for April 2021. In the index, the group ‘Clothing’ rose 0.2% while the ‘Footwear’ group recorded a negligible movement.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division fell by 4.0% influenced by an 11.5% fall for the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. The main contributors to the group’s movement were a decline in electricity rates due to lower fuel prices and a fall in the billing exchange rate. The decline in the division’s index was however offset by a 0.7% increase in the index for the group ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Relating to the Dwelling’, due to increased water rates. The ‘Maintenance, Repair and Security of the Dwelling’ group had a 1.0% increase in its index due mainly to increased prices for paint.
Inflation of 0.3% was recorded for the division ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’, attributable to the 0.7% increase in the index for the group Tools and Equipment for House and Garden’. The index for ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ also went up by 0.3% with ‘Furniture, Furnishing and Loose Carpets’ and ‘Household Textiles’ each moving up by 0.1%.
The division for ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.4% in its index for April 2021. The main contributing factor to this upward movement was the 0.5% increase in the group ‘Medicines and Health Products’. The index ‘Transport’ rose by 0.3%. According to STATIN “This upward movement was due largely to the increase in the cost of fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment as well as parts and accessories for personal transport equipment.”.
The ‘Recreation, Sport and Culture’ division registered a 0.2% rise for the period under review. Resulting from a 0.2% increase for items within the groups ‘Newspapers, Books and Stationery’. Lastly, the index for the ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Good and Services’ division rose by 0.3% for the period under review. This was due to an increase in the cost of some personal care goods.
The movement in the index for calendar year-to-date was 0.4% and the point- to-point was 3.8% as at April 2021. The Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area and Rural Areas both reported deflation of 0.5%. While Other Urban Centres reported deflation of 0.6%.
Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (0.5%)
- Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics: (0.4%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.1%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: (-0.4%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.3%)
- Health: (0.4%)
- Transport: (0.3%)
- Information and Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation, Sport and Culture: (0.2%)
- Education: (0.0%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
- Insurance and Financial Services (0.0%)
- Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (0.3%)
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