Prices continue to increase in Q3

1.4% inflation driven by rising transport costs

The average price of goods and services in Cayman increased by 1.4 percent in the third quarter of this year over Q3 of 2016, according to recently released data from the Economics and Statistics Office.

The territory had been experiencing falling prices from 2015 through late 2016, but that trend has reversed over the last year, the statistics show.

The main driver of the Q3 inflation was the transportation category, which increased by 5 percent over Q3 of last year. Transport services by air showed an increase of 10.8 percent, while maintenance and repair for personal transport went up by 8.2 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

The cost of healthcare also rose by 4.7 percent, which the Economics and Statistics Office attributed to a “significant rise” of 16.5 percent for pharmaceutical products and an 8.1-percent increase for other medicinal products. Those increases were mitigated by a 3.1-percent decline in the cost of therapeutic appliances and equipment.

Clothing and footwear prices increased by 3.6 percent, as the local prices of garments recorded an upward movement of 6.5 percent, according to the statistics. Average prices of clothing purchased abroad increased by 1.6 percent.

Furnishings, household, equipment, and routine household maintenance prices increased by 3.5 percent, largely due to the cost of non-durable household goods rising by 7.7 percent.

The price of beer went up by 5.5 percent, according to the statistics, which drove a 3.3-percent inflation rate in the alcoholic beverages and tobacco category. Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 0.8 percent.

There was minor inflation in the categories of recreation and culture (0.5 percent), communication (0.3 percent), miscellaneous goods and services (0.1 percent), and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.1 percent).

Meanwhile, the restaurants and hotels price index fell by 0.5 percent. The average prices for meals at “canteens at educational institutions” rose by 0.5 percent, which was offset by prices offered at restaurants and cafes falling by 0.7 percent.

The fall in restaurant and hotel prices comes after that category rose by 9 percent and 7.9 percent in Q1 and Q2 of this year, respectively. That category had been the largest driver of inflation in the first two quarters of 2017.

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