Consumer prices up

Hurricane Ivan has left another statistical mark.

Overall consumer prices for the second quarter exceeded the previous year’s figures by 9.7 per cent, according to Consumer Price Index information released by the Economics & Statistics Office.

The current CPI stood at 141.7 at the end of June 2005.

‘The data show that there is somewhat of a ‘levelling-off’ of the increases we’ve seen in previous quarters stemming largely from the impact of hurricane Ivan,’ said Peter Gough, Deputy Financial Secretary. ‘We expect this trend to continue in subsequent quarters as supply and demand for goods and services returns to pre-hurricane levels.’

When compared to the same period a year ago, only two of the eight major groups used in calculating the index, clothing and personal goods and services, registered declines of 5.9 and 0.8 per cent respectively.

A significant increase was found in the housing group, which registered a 32.6 per cent rise, with increases to both of its sub-groups indicating that although inflation due to Hurricane Ivan is diminishing, there continues to be a ripple effect taking place from last years devastating hurricane.

The index for the rent, maintenance and insurance sub-group increased by 36.2 per cent, caused by increases in insurance premiums and rental prices, and the utilities sub-group increased by 15.2 per cent.

Other increases included the food group (4.4 per cent), education (1.3 per cent) and medical (4.8 per cent) which had a total group increase of 2.8 per cent. The lowest increase of the quarter registered 0.6 per cent in the household equipment group. The transport and communications group also registered an increase (2.6 per cent) despite decreases in two of its three sub-groups (travel decreasing by 7.1 per cent and communications by 2.2 per cent).

When compared to the previous quarter, ended March 2005, the all items index decreased by 0.1 per cent with five of the eight major groups registering increases. However it is noted that Food had the highest increase at 1.9 per cent since the last quarter, whilst on the lower end of the spectrum household equipment registered a 0.9 per cent rise. The three major groups with decreases were clothing (3.7 per cent), Transport and Communication (2.1 per cent) and Housing (0.9 per cent).

Further information and the latest statistics on the Consumer Price Index can be obtained from the Government Statistics Office, located on the fourth floor of the Elizabethan Square (Phase IV) Building, calling 949-0940 or by visiting