September 16, 2020
Consumer Price Index – August 2020
The consumer price index for August 2020 was 105.9 resulting in an inflation rate of 0.2% increase when compared to previous month’s 105.7 price index, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). This increase was as result of, ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’, which booked a 1.2% increase in its index. Notably, STATIN stated, “Transport and ‘Recreation, Sport and Culture’ also recorded increases of 0.3% and 1.2% respectively.”
The heaviest weighted division of ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’, recorded a 0.5% decrease. Additionally, STATIN highlighted increases in other divisions such as ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods’ and ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’, which increased by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. Also, the ‘Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics’ division index rose 0.1%, while, ‘Clothing and Footwear’ division increased by 0.4% and ‘Health’ division climbed 0.4%. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each recorded an inflation rate of 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively for August 2020.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division went down 0.5% for August 2020. The ‘Food’ group index decreased 0.6% and the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group went up by 0.5%. As it relates to the decrease in the ‘Food’ division, STATIN noted, “The class ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ was the main contributor with a 3.6% fall in its index as a result of lower prices for vegetables such as tomato, lettuce and cabbage. This movement was moderated by an increase in prices for starchy tubers such as yam and potatoes and all other classes within both groups.”
The ‘Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics’ division increased by 0.1% for August 2020, due to a 0.1% increase in ‘Alcoholic Beverages’. While, the division for ‘Clothing and Footwear’ observed an increase of 0.4% in its index for August 2020. In the index the group ‘Clothing’ registered growth of 0.5% and ‘Footwear’ climbed by 0.2% for August 2020.
The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 1.2% increase in its index for August 2020. This is as a result of a 1.5% rise in the index for the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and 5.6% increase in the index for the group ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling.’ Furthermore, STATIN noted, “Higher electricity rates were primarily responsible for the former while increased water and sewage rates impacted the latter.”
There was a 0.3% increase in the index for ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance. This was mainly due to the 0.3% rise in the index for the group ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’. STATIN noted, “as a result of increased price for some household non-durables such as laundry soap, detergents and other cleaning products.” Additionally, STATIN noted, “All other groups in the division registered increases in their index notably: ‘Household Appliances’ 0.3% and ‘Furniture, Furnishing, and Loose Carpets’ 0.2%.”
The division for ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.5% in its index for August 2020. This resulted mainly from the ‘Medicines and Health Products’ and ‘Out Patient Care Services’ groups which both increased by 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. Notably, the increase in ‘Medicines and Health Products’ was driven by a price increase for prescription drugs.
The index for the divisions ‘Transport’ increased by 0.3%. “This was largely due to higher petrol prices,” STATIN noted.
The ‘Recreation, Sport and Culture’ division registered a 1.2% rise for August 2020 due to an increase in the price for books, stationery and drawing materials. STATIN noted, “This resulted in an increase of 1.5% in the index for the group ‘Newspapers, Books and Stationery’.” Lastly, the division for ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ produced an increase of 0.6% for August 2020, which was a result of the upward movement in the index for the group ‘Personal Care’ of 0.5%. Also, ‘Other Services’ went up 1.7%.
The movement in the index for calendar year to date inflation was 3.4%, fiscal year-to-date was 2.1% and the point- to -point was 5.1%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (-0.5%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.4%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: (1.2%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.3%)
- Health: (0.5%)
- Transport: (0.3%)
- Information and Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation, Sport and Culture: (1.2%)
- Education: (0.0%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
- Insurance and Financial Services (0.0%)
- Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (0.6%)
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