Date: December 17, 2019
The consumer price index for the month of November 2019 increased by 1.3%, following a 0.6% increase in its index for October 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 2.8%. The movement stemmed from increasing prices for some agricultural produce, notably cabbage, carrot and potato. The increase in prices led to the index for the class ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ recording a 9.1% growth. The ‘Transport’ division also contributed to November’s inflation rate with a 0.5% increase in its index, due to higher petrol prices. However, ‘Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division decreased by 1.2%, mainly due to lower electricity rates. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, Rural Areas and Other Urban Centres each increased by 2.0%, 0.8% and 1.2% respectively.
The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division recorded a 2.8% increase in its index for November 2019. The ‘Food’ group recorded a 2.9% rise in its index due to the 9.1% increase in the class ‘Vegetables and Starch Foods’. According to STATIN the movement was linked to, “higher prices for agricultural items, such as cabbage, lettuce, carrot, sweet pepper and potato.” Other increases were recorded for the following classes which all recorded a 0.2% increase in their index: ‘Meat’, ‘Milk, Cheese and Eggs’ and ‘Sugar, Jam, Honey, Chocolate and Confectionery’. The ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group the class ‘Mineral Water, Soft drinks, Fruits and Vegetable Juices’ registered a 0.3% 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 1.2% decrease in its index for November 2019, following a 0.9% increase for October 2019. The movement was as a result of the group ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a 2.5% decline in its index due to “lower electricity rates”. However, the decrease was tempered 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 1.1%. In addition, ‘Maintenance and Repair of Dwellings’ registered an increase of 0.5% and ‘Rentals for Housing’ which rose by 0.1%.
The index for the divisions ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ increased by 0.2%. Moreover, increases were recorded across all the groups with ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ increasing by 0.1% as a result of increased price for some household durables. ‘Furniture and Furnishings’ and ‘Household Appliances’ went up by 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively. Furthermore, ‘Household and Textiles’ trended upwards by 0.5% due to higher price for sheet sets and towels.
The division ‘Health’ recorded an increase of 0.2% in its index for November 2019. This resulted from the ‘Medical Products, Appliances and Equipment’ and ‘Health Services’ group both posting increases of 0.2%. The division ‘Clothing and Footwear’ increased 0.4% in its index due to a 0.8% 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 0.1% and 0.2% in their respective index for November 2019. The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ produced an increase of 0.2% for November 2019. According to STATIN, this was as a result of, “the upward movements in the price for some personal care products and some personal items.” Notably, the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ registered a 0.3% rise for November 2019, due to, “increased costs for accommodation and meals consumed away from home.” Lastly, a 0.5% expansion was documented in the ‘Transport’ division due to, “higher costs for some petrol and related products and higher prices for air travel.” Notably, the division ‘Communication’ had no effect on the index for November 2019.
The movement in the index for the calendar-year-to-date inflation rate was 5.7%, fiscal year-to-date was 5.0% and the point-to-point movement was 4.6%. Individual divisions saw the following changes:
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (2.8%)
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.2%)
- Clothing and Footwear: (0.4%)
- Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (-1.2%)
- Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (0.2%)
- Health: (0.2%)
- Transport: (0.5%)
- Communication: (0.0%)
- Recreation and Culture: (0.1%)
- Education: (0.1%)
- Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.3%)
- Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.2%)
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