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JM | Jan 20, 2022

Jamaica’s inflation rate increased by 0.8% in December 2021

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4.7 per cent increase in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’

The offices of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.

Inflation in Jamaica increased by 0.8 per cent in December 2021 with the Consumer Price Index rising 10 basis points to 117.0, up from the 116.0 recorded in November 2021.

December’s upward movement was largely influenced by a 4.7 per cent increase in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which tracks inflation on a monthly basis, reports that increased electricity, water and sewage rates were the main factors contributing to the increase in the division’s index.

Conversely, the inflation rate for the review period was tempered by the 0.5 per cent decrease in the index for the heaviest weighted division, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’. The continued improvement in the supplies of some agricultural produce, especially tomato, lettuce, cabbage, sweet pepper and yam led to the class ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ falling by 5.6 per cent.

This resulted in a 0.6 per cent decline in the index for the group ‘Food’. The All-Jamaica point-to-point inflation rate was 7.3 per cent, the fiscal year-to date inflation rate was 8.6 per cent and the calendar year inflation rate was 9.1 per cent as at December 2021.

Inflation by geographical areas

As it regards inflation by geographical areas for December 2021, the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area’ experienced inflation growth of 1.1 per cent, Other Urban Centres up by 0.5 per cent and Rural Areas experienced inflation growth 0.8 per cent. The mean annual inflation rate1 for 2021 of 5.9 per cent. This was 0.7 percentage point higher than the 5.2 per cent recorded in 2020.

Major Division Movements

For December 2021, the index for the heavily weighted ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division fell by 0.5 per cent. This was the only division to experience a decline over the review period for the second consecutive month.

The index for the sub-division ‘Food’ declined by 0.6 per cent and was attributable to a 5.6 per cent dip in the index for the ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses’ class. Lower prices for agricultural goods such as tomato, cabbage, yam, and potato because of a glut in supply contributed to the fall.

However, gains of 1.2 per cent in the index for the class ‘Cereal and cereal goods’, 1.4 per cent in the index for the class ‘Meat and other parts of slain land animals’ as well as a 0.9 per cent for the index Fish and Seafood moderated the overall fall within the entire Food sub-division. The index for the ‘Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ group increased by 0.9 per cent, with the index for the sub-divisions ‘Fruit and vegetable juices’ and ‘Water, Soft drinks and Other non-alcoholic beverages’ each increasing by 1.0 per cent.

The point-to-point inflation rate for the entire ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division was 4.9 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 10.5 per cent, and the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 9.9 per cent. The index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ advanced by 4.7 per cent. This movement was mainly because of increased electricity, water and sewage rates.

This resulted in the index for the two groups, ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Relating to the Dwelling’ increasing by 11.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

The index for the group ‘Actual Rentals for Housing’ recorded an increase of 4.2 per cent. For this division, the point-to-point inflation rate was 11.3 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 10.3 per cent, while the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 12.3 per cent.

Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Narcotics division

In December 2021, the index for the division ‘Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco & Narcotics’ grew by 0.7 per cent. The point-to-point inflation rate for this division was 5.3 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 4.4 per cent, and the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 5.0 per cent.

The index for the ‘Clothing and Footwear’ division increased by 0.3 per cent in December 2021. Within this division, the index for the groups ‘Clothing’ and ‘Footwear’ moved up by 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. For December 2021, the point-to-point inflation rate was 4.5 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 3.3 per cent, while the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 3.9 per cent for this division.

The index for the ‘Health’ division increased by 0.3 per cent in December 2021 – mostly due to a 0.3 per cent increase in the index for the group ‘Medicines and Health Products’. Additionally, the index for the ‘Outpatient Care Services’ sub-group climbed by 0.8 per cent.

The point-to-point inflation rate for this division was 4.1 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 2.6 per cent, and the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 3.7 per cent. For the ‘Transport’ division, there was no movement in the index for December 2021.

Lower petrol prices for personal transport equipment were offset by higher air travel costs. The point-to-point inflation rate was 14.2 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 11.6 per cent, while the calendar year inflation rate was 13.0 per cent as at December 2021.

For the ‘Recreation, Sport and Culture’ division, the index increased by 0.5 per cent for the period under review. The index for the groups ‘Newspapers, Books and Stationery’ and ‘Garden Products and Pets’ registered increases of 0.6 and 0.7 per cent respectively.

For this division, the point-to-point inflation rate was 5.5 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 4.4 per cent and the calendar year-to-date rate was 5.1 per cent as at December 2021.

Restaurants and Accommodation Services

In December 2021, the index for the division ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ climbed by 0.4 per cent. The main factors contributing to this division’s movement were increases of 14.8 per cent in the index for the sub-division ‘Accommodation Services’ and a 0.2 per cent in the index for the group ‘Food and Beverage Serving Services’.

For this division, the point-to-point inflation rate was 10.9 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date rate was 10.7 per cent and the calendar year inflation rate at 10.4 per cent as at December 2021. For December 2021, the index for the ‘Furnishings, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance’ section grew by 0.5 per cent.

All sub-groups within the division recorded increases within their index, with the main contributors to the movement of the division’s index being, ‘Goods and Services for Routine Household Maintenance’ which increased by 0.4 per cent and ‘Household Appliances’ which rose by 0.8 per cent. For this division, the point-to-point inflation rate was 5.5 per cent, the fiscal year-to-date inflation rate was 3.9 per cent, while the calendar year inflation rate was 5.1 per cent.

Individual divisions saw the following changes:

Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages: (- 0.5%)
Alcoholic Beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics: (+ 0.7%)
Clothing and Footwear: (+ 0.3%)
Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels: ( + 4.7%)
Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance: (+ 0.5%)
Health: (+ 0.3%)
Transport: (0.0 %)
Information and Communication: (0.0%)
Recreation, Sport and Culture: (+ 0.5%)
Education: (0.0%)
Restaurants and Accommodation Services: (+ 0.4%)
Insurance and Financial Services (0.0%)
Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services: (+ 0.6%)

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