The All-Jamaica Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined by 0.1 per cent for February 2021 as released today by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The decline in the inflation rate was mainly attributed to a fall of 1.3 per cent in the index for the heaviest weighted division, ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’. However, increases of 1.4 per cent in the index for the ‘Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division and 0.5 per cent in the index for the ‘Transport’ division tempered the decline in the CPI.
The decrease in the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ division was due primarily to the 7.5 per cent fall in the index for the class ‘Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses’ and a 0.5 per cent decline in the class ‘Fruits and nuts’. Lower prices for some agricultural produce such as tomato, cabbage, yam and orange, contributed to this decline.
Higher electricity, water and sewage rates led to the increase in the index for the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ division. There were increases in the index for the two groups, ‘Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ and ‘Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Relating to the Dwelling’ of 3.6 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. New tariff rate changes for JPS approved by the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) resulted in the increase in electricity. The index for the ‘Transport’ division advanced by 0.5 per cent due to higher petrol prices.
For the review period, the calendar year-to-date inflation rate was -0.1 per cent, while the fiscal-year to-date (April 2020 – February 2021) inflation rate was 3.3 per cent and the point-to-point (February 2020 – February 2021) was 3.8 per cent. The inflation rates for the three regions are Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area (GKMA) -0.1 per cent, Other Urban Centres (OUC) -0.1 per cent and Rural Areas (RA) -0.1 per cent.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures changes in the general level of prices of consumer goods and services purchased by private households. The February 2021 Consumer Price Index Bulletin outlines additional information and may be obtained from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica website at www.statinja.gov.jm or the Information Section of the Institute at (876) 630-1619. Visit the Institute’s Facebook and Instagram pages @STATINJA for the February 2021 CPI infographic.