Consumer prices drop by 1% in first quarter

But insurance and grocery costs up significantly

The 5.1% drop in the cost of housing and utilities in the first quarter of 2021 has led to a 1% decrease in consumer prices over the same period one year ago.

It was the third consecutive quarter of falling consumer prices in Cayman.

However, only three of the 12 categories that make up the consumer price index saw lower prices during the first three months of this year, the Economics and Statistics Office reported.

The cost of electricity and water supply dropped by 8.5% and 6.4%, respectively, during the period.

Imputed rentals for owner-occupiers fell by 4.6% and actual rents paid by tenants were 4.2% lower than a year earlier.

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Fuel prices for first quarter 2021 were down 13.3% compared with the prior-year period and motor vehicle prices came down by 7%.

But these declines somewhat masked considerable price increases for car insurance (16.9%), health insurance (5.2%), food and beverages (4.6%) and healthcare (4.5%).

In particular, there were increases in the prices of dairy products and eggs (11.5%) and fruits (10.9%). The cost of meat was 8.8% higher, and oils and fats went up by 3.8%.

The cost of pharmaceuticals increased by 13.6%.

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