Sat | Apr 29, 2017

Higher food prices pushes up inflation

Published:Wednesday | August 5, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Higher prices for fruits and vegetables mainly influenced a 0.5 per cent upward movement in the Consumer Price Index for June in the heaviest-weighted division, 'food and non-alcoholic beverages'.

Fruits and vegetables rose 2.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively, according to the latest data supplied by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

The institute said, however, that the movements were

mitigated by lower prices for starchy foods, down 0.6

per cent.

Also impacting the inflation rate for June were advances in the index for the divisions 'housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels', as well as 'miscellaneous goods and services', up of 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Contributing to the increase in the division 'housing water, electricity, gas and other fuels' were higher rates for electricity, water and sewerage, while the miscellaneous goods and services division was impacted by an increase in fees for passports.

The calendar year-to-date inflation rate was 0.5 per cent, while the fiscal year-to-date and point-to-point rates were 1.2 and 4.4 per cent, respectively.

Other divisions that recorded increases during June were 'alcoholic beverages and tobacco', up 0.6 per cent; 'clothing and footwear, up 0.2 per cent; 'furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance' increased by 0.4 per cent; 'health', up 0.1 per cent, 'transport', up 0.3 per cent; 'recreation and culture, up 0.1 per cent

and 'restaurants and accommodation services' increased by 0.1 per cent.

No movement was recorded for 'communication' and education'. All three regions saw upward movement in prices: Greater Kingston Metropolitan Area, up 0.6 per cent, other urban areas, up 0.5 per cent and rural areas, up 0.3 per cent.

Under Jamaica's economic-support programme with the International Monetary Fund, monetary policy remains aimed at achieving single digit inflation within a flexible exchange rate regime.

The Government envisages inflation in the range of 5.5 to 7.5 per cent in fiscal year 2015/16.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com