The latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) indicates that the inflation rate for the calendar year 2011 was six per cent, the lowest for the previous five years.
The achievement of this relatively modest price movement compares to an 11.7 per cent turn-out in 2010. For the fiscal year-to-date, the inflation rate was 5.5 per cent, 1.8 percentage points below the 7.3 per cent movement recorded for the March to December 2010 period.
STATIN explained that the inflation rate for the year was driven by higher food prices and the upward movement in the cost for the groups, "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels."
The agency stated that the higher cost of oil on the international market and the increased rates for electricity and water were the main contributing factors.
The category, food and non-alcoholic beverages, which makes up nearly 40 per cent of the basket of consumer goods and services, saw a 5.4 per cent increase in prices, compared to 12.3 per cent increase for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
Recording the lowest price movement for the year, with an increase of 2.3 per cent, was the category restaurants and accommodation services. Higher cost for "food consumed away from home" was the main contributor to the increase in that category.
The inflation turn-out for the year is consistent with official projections of the Bank of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica, which estimated that the rate would be in the range of six to eight per cent.