Consumer Price Index – May 2020
The consumer price index for May 2020 was 103.8 resulting in an inflation rate of 0.1% increase when compared to previous month’s 103.7 price index, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). This increase was as result of, ‘Food and Non- Alcoholic Beverages’, the heaviest weighted division 1.1% increase in its index. While, the division of ‘Housing, Water and Electricity’, recorded a rate of 1.5% increase due to a 5.6% increase in ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels.’ However, the overall movement in the index was offset by a decline of 22.1% in the index for the ’Education’ division, due mainly to decline in tuition fees for the summer term. The ‘Transport’ division index also declined by 0.3%, primarily due to lower prices for petrol. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each recorded an inflation rate of 0%, 0.2% and -0.2%, respectively for May 2020.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division was 1.1% increase in its index for May 2020. The ‘Food’ group index recorded 1.2% and the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group went up by 0.8%. Notably, all classes within both groups experienced an increase. Additionally, ‘Cereal and cereal products’ went up by 0.7% while ‘Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals’ and ‘Fish and Seafood’ were up by 0.6% and 1%, respectively.
The division for ‘Clothing and Footwear’ observed an increase of 0.4% in its index for May 2020. In the index the group ‘Clothing’ registered growth of 0.5% and ‘Footwear’ climbed by 0.3% for May 2020.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 1.5% increase in its index for May 2020. The higher rates for electricity caused a 5.6% climb in the index for the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. However, there were lower water and sewage rates in May 2020 which contributed to decrease of 1.7% in the index for ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ as stated by STATIN.
The division for ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for May 2020. This resulted mainly from the ‘Medicines and Health Products’ and ‘Out Patient Care Services’ groups which both increased by 0.2% .
The index for the divisions ‘Transport’ decreased by 0.3%. The main contributor to this movement was from the ‘Operation of Personal Transport Equipment’ which went down by 1.7% as a result of a decline in ‘Fuels and Lubricants for Personal Transport Equipment’ by 2.5%. On the other hand, the index for ‘Transport Services of Goods’ recorded a 0.6% increase for the month of May.
The ‘Education’ division registered a 22.1% decline for May 2020 due to decrease in tuition fees for private institutions for the summer term, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, the division for ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ produced an increase of 0.8% for May 2020 which was a result of the upward movements of prices of some personal care products.
The movement in the index for year to date inflation was 1.7% and fiscal year-to-date was 0.1%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (1.1%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.6%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.4%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: (1.5%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.6%)
- Health: (0.2%)
- Transport: (-0.3%)
- Information and Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation, Sport and Culture: (0.2%)
- Education: (-22.1%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
- Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (0.8%)
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