Housing costs still high

The Consumer Price Index for the third quarter of 2005 was up 8.4 per cent over last year, and up .5 per cent over this year’s second quarter, with housing costs the largest contributor to the increase.

‘The data shows that the housing group continues to register the highest increase, due largely from the impact of Hurricane Ivan,’ said Stran Bodden, acting director of the Economics and Statistics Office.

The housing index registered a 27.3 per cent increase, however that figure was down from the 32.6 per cent increase registered last quarter.

Mr. Bodden said higher rents, increased home insurance costs and resulting increases in maintenance fees were mainly responsible for the increase.

‘As the housing stock is restored and the supply of housing begins to equal the demand for housing, the impact of Hurricane Ivan should have less of an effect on the housing market,’ Mr. Bodden said.

When compared to the same period a year ago, other major groups used in calculating the index that registered an increase included alcohol and tobacco (9.4 per cent), transport and communications (3.7 per cent), education and medical (2.6 per cent), food (2.6 per cent), and personal goods and services (0.6 per cent).

Consistent with the previous quarter, household equipment and clothing were the two major groups registering declines by 6.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.

The decline in household equipment can be attributed to continuing decreases in all three of its sub-groups, which are furniture and floor coverings, household appliances and household equipment.