Monthly inflation rate of 0.6% for October 2019

November 18, 2019

Consumer Price Index – October 2019

The consumer price index for the month of October 2019 increased by 0.6%, following a 0.4% increase in its index for September 2019, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). This movement was largely attributed to the upward movements in the division of ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 0.9%. The movement stemmed from increasing prices for some agricultural produce, notably tomato, lettuce, cabbage, carrot and irish potato. The increase in prices led to the ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ index recording a 2.7% growth. The ‘Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division also contributed to October’s inflation rate with a 0.9% increase in its index, mainly due to higher rates for electricity, water and sewage. Consequently, this resulted in a 1.4% rise in the index for the group ‘Electricity, Gas and other Fuels’ and 0.8% for ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to Dwelling’ for the month of October. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 0.9%, 0.4% and 0.5% respectively.

The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 0.9% increase in its index for October 2019. The ‘Food’ group recorded a 1.0% rise in its index due to the 2.7% increase in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’. According to STATIN the movement was linked to, “higher prices for produce such as tomato, carrot, lettuce and irish potato”. Other increases were recorded in the classes ‘Meat’ (0.2%), ‘Fish and Seafood’ (0.2%)  and ‘Food Products’ n.e.c. (0.6%). The ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group registered a 0.2% 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 0.1% respectively.

The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 0.9% increase in its index for October 2019, following a 0.3% increase for September 2019. The movement was as a result of the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a 1.4% rise in its index due to “higher electricity rates”. The increase was also supported by increased rate for water and sewage, which resulted in the index for ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ moving upwards by 0.8%.

The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ increased by 0.1%. Moreover, increases were recorded across all the groups with ‘Household Appliances’, ‘Glassware, Tableware and Household Utensils’, and ‘Tools and Equipment for House and Garden’ each increasing by 0.2%. The index ‘for ‘Household Textiles’ and ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ observed upward movements by 0.1% each; however, ‘Furniture and Furnishings’ registered a negligible increase.

The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.1% in its index for October 2019. Furthermore, the ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ group posted a 0.3% increase in its index due to, “increased costs for vitamin pills and medicines for cold and fever.” Nonetheless, a negligible movement was recorded for ‘Health Services’. The division ‘Clothing and Footwear’ increased 0.2% in its index due to a 0.3% increase registered for the group ‘Footwear’ and a 0.1% increase for the class ‘Clothing’.

The divisions ‘Recreation and Culture’ and ‘Alcoholic Beverages’ recorded increases of 0.2% and 0.1% in their respective index for October 2019. The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ produced an increase of 0.4% for October 2019. According to STATIN, this was as a result of, “increased prices for some personal care products.” Notably, the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ registered a 0.1% rise for October 2019, due to, “increased prices for some meals consumed away from home.” Lastly, a 0.1% contraction was documented in the ‘Transport’ division due to, “lower prices for 87 and 90 octane gasoline. However, the overall downward movement of the index was moderated by higher prices for diesel gasoline.”

The movement in the index for the calendar-year-to-date inflation rate was 4.4%, fiscal year-to-date was 3.7% and the point-to-point movement was 3.3%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:

  1. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (0.9%)
  2. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
  3. Clothing and Footwear: (0.2%)
  4. Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (0.9%)
  5. Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.1%)
  6. Health: (0.1%)
  7. Transport: (-0.1%)
  8. Communication: (0.0%)
  9. Recreation and Culture: (0.2%)
  10. Education: (0.0%)
  11. Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.1%)
  12. Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.4%)

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