Monthly inflation rises 0.9% for August

Date: September 18, 2018

Consumer Price Index – August 2018

The consumer price index for the month of August 2018 increased 0.9%, following the 1.0% increase in July 2018, according to The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The Consumer Price Index for the month of August advanced to 252.8, relative to the 250.4 reported for July 2018. This increase was largely attributed to the movement in two divisions, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ up by 1.6% and ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance’ up by 13.0%. However, this was tempered by the reduction in ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ of 0.1%. Inflation within the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area and Other Urban Centres each registered increase in their respective index of 1.2% and 1.0% respectively, while the index for Rural Areas increased by 0.7%.

The index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division recorded a 0.1% decrease in its index for August 2018, following a 3.4% upward movement for July 2018. This was a result of the groups ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ registering a decline of 0.6%. According to STATIN, this movement was “mainly impacted by falls in electricity rates.” This was however offset by an uptick in ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling’ of 1.6% due to increased water and sewage rates. Furthermore, the index for the group ‘Maintenance and Repairs of the Dwelling’ went up 0.3%.

The index for the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division also recorded a 1.6% increase in its index for August 2018, following a 0.9% upward movement for July 2018. This resulted from the upward movements within the ‘Food’ and ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ groups by 1.6% and 0.2% respectively. Within the ‘Food’ group, the class ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ increased 6.0%. According to STATIN, this was “due to higher prices for produce such as carrot, cabbage, lettuce, string beans and irish potato due to continued dry weather conditions.” Within the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group the classes ‘Mineral Waters, Soft Drinks, Fruit and Vegetable Juices’ and ‘Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa’ both recorded increases of 0.2%.

The index for the divisions ‘Clothing and Footwear’ recorded an increase of 0.1%. Clothing moved upwards by 0.2%, while footwear advanced 0.1%. ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance’ recorded increases of 3.0% for August 2018. This movement was primarily driven by a 4.3% climb in the index ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ which was in turn influenced by a 13.0% increase in the National Minimum Wage

The division ‘Recreation and Culture’ grew by 0.4% for August 2018, “mainly as a result of an increase in the cost for text books.” The divisions ‘Miscellaneous Goods and Services’, increased 0.1% for August 2018 as a result of an, increase in the prices of personal care and personal effects products.

Notably, the other divisions ‘Transport’, ‘Education’, ‘Health’, ‘Communication’ and ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ had no effect on the index for August 2018.

The Inflation rate year to date is 1.6%, while the point-to-point rate (August 2017 – August 2018) and fiscal year 2018/ 2019 was 3.9% and 1.9% respectively. Individual divisions saw the following changes:

  1. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (1.6%)
  2. Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco: (0.1%)
  3. Clothing and Footwear: (0.1%)
  4. Housing, Water, Electricity, gas and Other Fuels: (-0.1%)
  5. Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (3.0%)
  6. Health: (0.0%)
  7. Transport: (0.0%)
  8. Communication: (0.0%)
  9. Recreation and Culture: (0.4%)
  10. Education: (0.0%)
  11. Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (0.0%)
  12. Miscellaneous Goods and services: (0.1%)

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