Monthly inflation rate of -1.1% for January 2020

February 19, 2020

The consumer price index for January 2020 was 267.5 resulting in an inflation rate of -1.1%, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). This downward movement was largely attributed to the decreases in the division of ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ by 1.4% and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ by 4.0% and ‘Transport’ by 0.7%. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by -1.4%,-0.8% and -1.3% respectively.

The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 1.4% decrease in its index for January 2020. Within the index ‘Non- alcoholic Beverages’ rose by 0.2%, whereas the ‘Food’ group recorded a 1.5% decline in its index due to the 4.9% decrease in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’. According to STATIN, the movement was linked to, “lower prices for produce such as tomato, lettuce, potatoes, and yam.” Other increases which tempered the overall decline were recorded for the following classes: ‘Bread and Cereal’ and ‘Milk, Cheese and Eggs’ each increasing by 0.3%, and ‘Meat’(0.2%). ‘From the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group, the class ‘Mineral Water, Soft drinks, Fruits and Vegetable Juices’ registered a 0.2% growth in its index, as the classes ‘Coffee, Tea and Cocoa’ recorded an increase of 0.1%.

The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 4.0% decrease in its index for January 2020. The increased rate for water and sewage contributed to a 7.2% increase in the index for the group ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’. Nonetheless, this increase was tempered by reduced electricity rates which contributed to the 9.1% decline in the index for ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’. Moreover, there was a 0.2% rise in the index for ‘Maintenance and Repair of Dwelling’.

The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ increased by 0.1%. Moreover, increases were recorded across all the groups except for ‘Furniture and Furnishings’ which recorded a negligible movement for January 2020. As such, the ‘Household Appliances’ division increased by 0.5% as a result of the increased price for refrigerators and microwaves while the ‘Glassware, Tableware and Household Utensils’ division moved up by 0.3%.

The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for January 2020. This resulted mainly from the ‘Health Services’ group which posted an increase of 0.2%. While the ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ index recorded a 0.1% increase. The division ‘Clothing and Footwear’ increased 0.3% in its index, as both groups ‘Footwear’ and ‘Clothing’ each registered a 0.3% growth for January 2020.

The divisions ‘Recreation and Culture’ recorded an increase of 0.1% in its index for January 2020. The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ produced an increase of 0.3% for January 2020 which was a result of the upward movements in the price for some personal care products. Notably, the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ registered a 1.6% rise for January 2020 due to increased prices for some meals consumed away from home. Lastly, the ‘Transport’ division recorded a 0.7% decline in January 2020 attributable to, “lower prices for 87 and 90-grade octane gasolene despite higher prices for diesel. Airfares also contributed to the downward movement of the division’s index”, as indicated by STATIN.

The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 4.3% and the point-to-point movement was 5.2%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:

  1. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (-1.4%)
  2. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.0%)
  3. Clothing and Footwear: (0.3%)
  4. Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: (-4.0%)
  5. Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.1%)
  6. Health: (0.2%)
  7. Transport: (-0.7%)
  8. Communication: (0.0%)
  9. Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
  10. Education: (0.0%)
  11. Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (1.6%)
  12. Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (0.3%)

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